Vacation Rentals Increase in The Bahamas

It appears more Bahamians are embracing Airbnb listings, as rental rates have increased this year. Meanwhile, hotel rates are down, but it's not all bad for major hotels.


People looking to vacation in the Bahamas have more choice than ever about where to stay. More hotels and resorts are popping up, but The Bahamas has also been embracing Airbnb more than ever before.


The Central Bank of The Bahamas just released their monthly report, which showed that vacation rentals are growing in popularity among visitors. Airbnb bookings increased by 41% in August compared to last year.


This increased interest in Airbnb type rentals has greatly influenced the market. Rates for vacation rentals have gone up with the average daily room rates jumping by 1.8% to $319.77. Many people traveling for vacation prefer Airbnb listings over hotels, especially those traveling with large parties and kids as it means they can interact more than they could when staying in hotels.


The report highlights that “these results are also influenced by the fact that more properties are listing on the site each year.” Exuma, which is home to the famous swimming pigs a major tourist attraction, saw the number of Airbnb listings increase by 54.7%. Other islands also saw large increases in the number of listings. New Providence gained 37.8% new listings, the Abacos 34.8%, and Grand Bahama 28%. The Bahamas has continued to improve their tourism sector, and the vacation rental market performance shows that.


While this is great news for local property owners, the hotel industry isn’t fairing as well. As vacation rental rates have increased, hotel rates have declined. Rates for hotel rooms dropped by 3.1% to $132.19.


Don’t feel too bad for hotels though. While their average rates have gone down their revenue continues to rise. The report states that the largest hotels had total room revenue expand by 30% in the first seven months of 2018. The number of rooms booked in hotels increased by 26% as well.


Tourism in The Bahamas has been increasing the past few years, but this year especially has seen a large influx of visitors. The Bahamas saw a whopping 18% surge in stopover visitors in the first quarter of 2018. That is the fastest growth rate in the Caribbean region. That 18% comes out to about 63,000 visitors during the period.


This increase in tourism is due in part to more listings appearing on Airbnb, as well as more airlines adding flights to the islands and the opening of Baha Mar. Overall, The Bahamas is set to have a very good year.

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