Baha Mar touts low COVID-19 positivity rate, strong booking pace

Baha Mar has carried out more than 60,000 COVID-19 tests on employees and guests since reopening on December 17, the resort’s President Graeme Davis said yesterday, adding that the resort’s COVID-19 positivity rate is 0.0012 percent.

Davis, who made the remarks while giving a sector update to the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association, explained that the percentage means the resort has found 1.2 guests and associates per 1000 have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Davis said Baha Mar has received “tremendous” positive feedback from guests about its health and safety protocols. He added that those protocols and the resort’s Travel with Confidence program have given potential guests the confidence to book.

Davis explained that while business levels are nowhere near where we were in 2019, the booking pace is up over 2019.

“Our booking pace is certainly very, very strong,” said Davis. “Our booking pace over 2019 is significantly up.”

He revealed that in the first quarter, occupancies we were down 84 percent compared to the same quarter in 2019, while occupancy levels in the second quarter of 2021 are forecast to be 56 percent down compared to the same period in 2019.

Davis said the third quarter is projected to be 10 percent down from 2019 levels, adding that for all future months the booking pace is better than 2019 for transient guests only.

According to Davis, the booking pace for the SLS and Rosewood is up 60 percent compared to 2019, while Hyatt’s pace is lagging behind 26 percent compared to 2019.

“We’re starting to see some normalization,” said Davis.

“Certainly, this is our busiest week and next week going into Easter that we’ve seen since we opened. We expect to see a drop-off and then expect some summer bookings.

“As I mentioned earlier, we are significantly still down from 2019, but the booking pace remains strong,” said Davis, adding that group business could return by the end of the year.

“Group business is still a far way off in terms of having the confidence to book with us and also stay,” said Davis.

“We’re not seeing anything of significance for group bookings at this time for the first couple of quarters in 2021. Certainly, as we start to look out in late quarter three and quarter four, we’re starting to see some group movement considering to come back to us.”

He also revealed that in May the Sugar Factory restaurant is slated to open, while Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant and the resort’s waterpark are expected to be open by July.