BCQS at CHICOS 2023: Key Insights and Highlights

Photo/Video Footage Credit: Spencer Chaney, Island Media Co.

As a leading construction property and development consultancy, BCQS proudly participated in and sponsored the 2023 Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS), a pivotal event in the Caribbean hotel investment landscape. The conference was held at the Westin Beach Resort & Spa, Frenchman’s Reef in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, from November 12-14, and it marked a significant gathering of industry influencers and decision makers.

CHICOS serves as a crucial platform for regional development. Celebrating its 11th edition, the conference hosted over 300 attendees, including international investors, government officials, and industry experts. It provided an opportunity for meaningful discussions about the future of the Caribbean hospitality sector, with a focus on sustainable growth and innovation.

The BCQS team’s participation at CHICOS underscores our dedication to contributing to developments in the Caribbean hospitality sector. By engaging in vital conversations and sharing our expertise, we aim to contribute significantly to a vibrant and resilient future for the region. Additionally, our return to the Westin Beach Resort & Spa, Frenchman’s Reef in the U.S. Virgin Islands, carried added significance as the BCQS team provided services during the construction stage of the redevelopment, and has not been back since its reopening in 2022.

Simon Taylor, Chris Graham, Ben Butler, and Sam Lawton represented BCQS at the event. Over two days, they engaged in enriching conversations, learning, and networking with industry peers, resulting in several key takeaways.

Key Insights from the Conference:

 

  • Rapid Growth in Occupancy and ADR: The Caribbean hotel industry has shown significant growth in both occupancy rates and Average Daily Rate (ADR) over the last two years, surpassing the moderate growth observed in the USA market.
  • North American Market Demand: There’s a rising demand for Caribbean vacations primarily from North American travelers. This trend is particularly strong in destinations like the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, and Jamaica, which attract a substantial number of travelers from the USA and Canada.
  • Resilience and Reinvestment Post-Hurricanes: The regions of the USVI and Puerto Rico demonstrated remarkable resilience and recovery post-hurricane, benefiting from substantial reinvestment that has contributed to the tourism sector’s growth.
  • Varied Growth in the Eastern Caribbean: The growth in the Eastern Caribbean is somewhat more modest compared to other regions, with these markets relying more heavily on European travelers who have been impacted by recent economic issues.

 

Sessions led by our team highlighted BCQS’s thought leadership, where we shared insights and spurred discussions on critical industry trends. Here is a recap of the sessions:

The Caribbean Lodging Industry as it Relates to Design, Development, Construction & Insurance

In a dynamic panel discussion led by Chris Graham, BCQS Director, experts from the Caribbean lodging industry, including a contractor, hotel owner, power generation suppliers, and an insurance professional, shared diverse perspectives on key industry trends. The conversation focused on the growing importance of renewable energy in hospitality design and development, highlighting the sector’s increasing environmental awareness. Panelists discussed current market trends, emphasising the challenges of managing construction costs and the impact of evolving client demands and design trends. A critical part of the dialogue also revolved around the strategies to handle rising insurance rates, underscoring its significant influence on the financial health of the hospitality industry.

Caribbean Airlift Interview

Simon Taylor, BCQS director, had the pleasure of conducting an engaging interview with Cathy-Ann Joseph, Regional Operations Manager from American Airlines. They discussed AA’s longstanding commitment to the Caribbean, a region they have served for 52 years. The conversation unveiled plans to expand its presence, providing over 1,000 weekly flights by the end of the year. Cathy-Ann Joseph provided insights on American Airlines’ strategic expansion, highlighting new routes and destinations in the Caribbean. Additionally, she emphasised their efforts to enhance international connectivity for the region, linking the Caribbean more effectively with global markets through their major U.S. hubs.

BCQS Experts at CHICOS 2023