The Caribbean’s tourism renaissance is well underway, with some destinations approaching or exceeding record visitor arrival numbers.
Tourism officials cite pent-up traveller demand, the elimination or significant reduction in travel restrictions, the return of airlift, attractive deals and packages being offered by hotels, and a spread of destination and hotel selections and upgrades which might be now in place as key aspects for the rebound.
Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) President Nicola Madden-Greig applauded the region’s tourism, health and government leaders for his or her work over the past two years to position the region’s largest industry to get well from the pandemic.
Madden-Greig pointed to the announcement last month by the World Travel and Tourism Council at its global summit in Manila, recognising the Caribbean and Latin America as leading the worldwide tourism recovery.
“Today’s traveller has many selections when planning a Caribbean getaway, due to the efforts of so many. Over the past decade we’ve seen an explosion of new and upgraded hotels and infrastructure improvements.
Through the pandemic many hotels and attractions used the time to enhance on their product and repair offerings, also recognising the changing needs of the discerning traveller.
“We proceed to supply accommodation experiences which appeal to the total range of traveller interests. Beyond our world-famous beaches and waters, travellers can experience our diverse cultural, culinary and historic treasures. And we’ve worked diligently to place in place health safety protocols that are effective and as nonintrusive as possible,” she stated.
Madden-Greig noted that on average, hotels and resorts within the Caribbean will approach near 80 per cent of their record pre-pandemic performance this yr, with some destinations setting all-time records.
Cruise ships are returning, which is very essential to attractions, transportation providers reminiscent of independent taxis, and small- and medium-sized vendors. As well as, investment in new and upgraded hotels and resorts has not slowed.
“These are all great indicators which point to traveller confidence and demand for the Caribbean. We’re seeing the fruits of years of exertions by the industry and governments throughout the region to take a position in our tourism product and our people, and to broaden our appeal as we discover new ways to supply a various and exciting experience for our visitors,” said Madden-Greig.
“Travellers to the Caribbean can discover our diverse offerings by land or sea, by a cruise vacation, or a coveted, longer in-destination stay for a more immersive experience.
“It has never been easier to do the Caribbean ‘your way’ and there are alternatives for each interest and each budget. From high-end luxury accommodations on land or on sea to cozy cottages and apartments,” she added.
CHTA’s Acting CEO and Director General Vanessa Ledesma echoed these thoughts recently on the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS). Pointing to data from ForwardKeys, Ledesma highlighted the strong interest within the region for summer and fall travel.
“That is reflective of the travellers’ mindset with the accessibility of the region, brand identity and management of the pandemic being key elements which might be driving demand,” she said.
ForwardKeys, CHTA’s data partner, recently reported that the Caribbean and Latin America were leading the summer outlook by way of the return of leisure travel, noting that five destinations – Aruba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Mexico and The Bahamas – were among the many “most resilient” based on confirmed arrivals for the summer.
Developer confidence can also be evident in STR’s most current pipeline report, with near 30,000 rooms in development or under construction over the following five years.
Madden-Greig pointed to new challenges facing the industry, as inflation is leading to higher operating and travel costs and the uncertainty in Eastern Europe impacts travel.
“While the associated fee of travel increases worldwide as a consequence of these and other aspects, we are going to proceed to give attention to providing value and exceptional traveler experiences,” said the CHTA leader.
“This is especially essential in our highly competitive global marketplace. Despite these challenges, we anticipate over the approaching weeks and months to see a proliferation of deals and special offers by the industry to proceed to appeal to travellers’ desire to come back to the Caribbean,” she said. (PR)