With less than a week left in 2013, Atlantis is already projecting that next year will be an “excellent year,” running approximately 15 percentage points ahead in group nights alone.
In 2013, the Paradise Island property fell nearly 25,000 group room nights short of its annual target.
But according to George Markantonis, the resort’s president and managing director, unless there is an “economic catastrophe in some of its feeder markets,” the first four months of next year will bring the hotel solid occupancy numbers.
For January, Atlantis is running about 15 percentage points ahead in group room nights, while in 2015, group bookings are already 42 percent ahead of previous years.
Bookings pace is a key measure of demand, referring to the receipt and tempo of advanced reservations.
“2014 is going to be an excellent year. Everything that we are looking at right now is telling us that in our bookings,” he recently told Guardian Business.
Markantonis’ positive outlook comes after the country’s largest private employer failed to meet this year’s expectation, with revenue falling short by 10 to 12 percentage points as a result of a “disastrous” April.
But based on initial numbers, both 2014 and 2015 are looking positive.
“We’re seeing a change in the economics of our major feeder markets.
“North America seems to be strengthening economically. The housing markets in the United States are strengthening.
“This has always been a huge catalyst for how we do,” he said.
“We track all of these indexes and see how they rate against our bookings.
“We can tell you how the housing market performs in the United States is a very good indicator of the kind of business that we are going to see. It’s a confidence measurement stick.
“2015 is looking equally as good, particularly in the group world where we’re running about a 42 percent ahead of what our pace would normally be.
“Now it’s a little bit early but it’s really fun for us, certainly in the holiday season, to be able to sit around and chat about that and look forward to positive events.”
As it stands, the world-renowned resort is on pace to significantly surpass this year’s bookings next year.
“New markets like Latin America are helping us here in The Bahamas.
“This has a lot to do with the fact that Copa Airlines is flying in daily from Panama City,” Markantonis added.
“A lot of it has to do with the government, particularly the Ministry of Tourism being very involved in Central and Latin America.
“It also has to do with our efforts. I think we are going to see a lot of traction develop as we manage to get our brands better known in Latin America.
“That’s an easy market that’s waiting to be picked.”