Will the new hotels be bad for business?

One question that should be asked with more frequency is what will the impact of the raft of new hotels really do to our tourism industry?  Do we have enough people to work in these hotels?    What is the quality of service from the hotels we already have?  Is more competition a good idea?  Will raft of new hotels do more to ruin tourism than improve it?

It is already becoming more and more apparent that hotels are having employment troubles and worker shortages.  The decline of the US dollar combined with difficult immigration policies, the long distance required to attract foreign workers and the lack of Bermudians willing to work in the industry are starting to take their toll. 

According to TripAdvisor user reviews, here are rankings of level of service out of 5 for Bermuda Hotels

Fairmont Hamilton Princess, 626 rooms, service? 3.5 out of 5

Fairmont Southampton Princess, 593 rooms, service?  3.5 out of 5

Wyndam Bermuda Resort and Spa, 252 rooms, service?  3.5 out of 5

Elbow Beach Bermuda, 235 rooms, service? 4 out of 5

Grotto Bay Beach Resort, 201 rooms, service? 3.5 out of 5

So, of the 5 largest hotels, measured on service levels alone we’re scoring between 3.5 and 4 out of 5.  Could this have anything to do with difficulties surrounding achieving adequate staffing levels?

What will the impact be of the raft of new hotels coming online?  Two properties, Southlands and Grand Atlantic purported to be of similar size to the Fairmont properties?  What will they do to attract employees in an island where there is already low unemployment?  Will they pay more to steal workers away from other properties, further decreasing our overall levels of service?  Will they be able to attract in loads of foreign workers given the constraints listed above?   What if they cannot and then become unprofitable?

What impact will this added competition have on our overall quality of service and will tourists be willing to pay a high price for poor service?  Will this do more to ruin our reputation than improve it?  Do we really have enough workers?  Can our infrastructure handle a mass influx of more?  Can we even attract them?

There are simply too many unanswered questions and I fear that too few people are asking them.

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4 thoughts on “Will the new hotels be bad for business?

  1. I think you might know the answers to your questions. Bermuda cannot support and provide quality service in these new hotels (remember the Ritz in Hamilton and Tucker’s Point which will probably open before the ones you mention)without bringing in thousands of overseas staff. Where are they going to live? Will they be able to afford to live in Bermuda? Your average Bermudian can hardly afford to buy groceries each week! I think it will be very difficult to attract quality staff to Bermuda unless we can get our cost of living down to a reasonable level. Young Bermudians, with two decent salaries, struggle to afford the morgage payments on a 2-bedroom condo. Add to this the costs for transport, food and having a family etc. and it is crippling. My view is that most Bermudians do not want to go back to shift work in hotels.

  2. Thats one of the biggest problems that Bermudians have. They think that they are the only ones that have to work three/two jobs even with as you say both spouses working.
    Welcome to the 19th Centuary. History does repeat itself Everyone is in such a hurry to go nowhere, this becomes the downside of every domicile worldwide.
    Do your best for your family and then yourself. But one must put themselves first just to accomplish what I just said.

  3. Bob,
    “My view is that most Bermudians do not want to go back to shift work in hotels.”
    I contest this view. I think most Bermudians do not want to work in hotels when construction pays more and in this incredibly expensive island, you have to go with what pays.
    “Thats one of the biggest problems that Bermudians have. They think that they are the only ones that have to work three/two jobs even with as you say both spouses working.”
    The distinction is that in Bermuda, even if you are well educated you still have to work two/three jobs to afford a home.
    By comparison, a well educated individual in Canada/US would not.
    That is the core problem with Bermuda. Not only is it not affordable for those at the bottom of the ladder, it is also not affordable for those who have worked hard to climb near the top.

  4. I think you’re asking almost the right question.
    IMHO the right question is “Will XXX improve the quality of life for Bermudians?”
    The answer is – “no”

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