Resorts in Cayman Brac are still feeling the spin-off effects of Ivan, reporting higher occupancy rates including greater domestic traffic.
‘Our business has doubled since Ivan,’ said Trudi Viers, manager of the 40-room Brac Reef Beach Resort, which was booked solid over the long Easter weekend.
‘The last three weeks we haven’t had a room available.’
Viers said the resort is continuing to pick up tourist trade from Grand Cayman as many resorts and hotels here are still not ready for stay-over visitors.
‘Some never thought about coming to the Sisters Islands, so it’s been good for us. People say they really like the atmosphere here.’
She’s also seeing repeat visits from Grand Cayman residents – some who have never visited the Brac before.
‘People are still coming from Grand Cayman as a getaway. We’re getting a lot more local traffic than we have in the past. I’ve had people say they’ve lived in Grand Cayman for 12 years and they’ve never been to the Sister Islands before.’
That’s been the case at Brac Caribbean Beach Villages and Carib Sands Beach Resort, a condominium development which, like other guesthouses on the island, saw a huge influx from Grand Cayman after the storm. While that’s levelled off, manager Lenny Neckerman said it’s meant an opportunity to build business.
‘We got a lot of first-time people that are Caymanian-born who had never been here before,’ he said. ‘We’ve had quite a few repeats. The months of March and April are looking quite good.’
Max Hillier, manager of Divi Tiara Beach Resort, said while the 71-room complex is doing good business, occupancy rates are not as high as he had expected.
‘Right now, April is not at the same level of occupancy as it has been in the history of the business. We’re a little bit slower.’
Viers also said April’s bookings are slower at Reef Resort but both noted that’s likely due to the trend of people booking their vacations much closer to departure. She said people who previously booked as much as 90 days in advance are now booking within 30 days of departure.