Hotels, guest houses and safari vessels record rising patronage

The tourism industry has recorded a 10 percent increase in bed nights for the first three months of  2011 compared with 2010, a total of 1,852,564.

However while the majority of nights were spent at resort properties – 1,724,799 – this represented only a seven percent increase on 2010. In comparison, nights at hotels increased 25.5 percent (to 60,784) and safari vessels by 33.9 percent.

Guest houses remained a small segment of the tourism market with 7855 nights, although this represented a 25.5 percent increase on the same period last year. Guest houses continued to record very low occupancy rates of around 17 percent.

Occupancy rates for resorts increased three and a half percent on 2010 to 92.8 percent from January to March 2011, and were exceptionally strong in February – only two percent of the country’s resort rooms were empty during this month. Hotel occupancy increase 6.5 percent on last year.

Overall, occupancy rates across the tourism industry varied only marginally on 2010, dropping 0.1 percent.

Average duration of stay for the first three months of 2011 also showed little variation on the same period last year, continuing a slight downward trend of 0.1 percent to 7.5 days per visitor.