Barbados and several other other Caribbean countries are among the many top destination decisions for people looking for and booking trips this holiday season.
Nonetheless, experts say while this was a show of confidence within the region as a tourist destination, there was a necessity for continued strong research and targeted marketing strategies, attractive offers and suppleness, while promoting the region as a protected destination in a COVID-19 environment with new variants spreading.
This was highlighted on Wednesday during a special Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) winter outlook press conference.
Providing an insight into a few of the data gathered by the Expedia Group Media Solutions on the Caribbean, Ana Paradela, Director of Business Development, said “We’re definitely seeing that the Caribbean is probably the most vital regions for the US traveller and we’ve loads of reasons to have fun in terms of 2021.”
She said based on recently accomplished evaluation of the corporate’s global recovery trends for the third quarter of this 12 months, global search volumes were holding regular and the search window leading as much as travel was between zero to 30 days.
The “travel intent” data from the Expedia Group showed that 41 per cent of all accommodation searches for travel to the Caribbean were for hotels, she noted.
“No surprise here that the US continues to be the highest international market in terms of the Caribbean and that 63 per cent of those total searches for the Caribbean are coming from Expedia.com US,” she reported.
Adding that 61 per cent of the searches were from mobile devices, Paradela said it was vital that destinations have “a gorgeous and aggressive” offer for mobile.
She said for Expedia Group, between January and November this 12 months, the highest 10 source markets from which the searches and bookings for the Caribbean were coming were the US, Canada, UK, France, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Mexico, Germany and Switzerland.
The highest Caribbean destinations that folks were searching and booking for in the course of the same period were the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Bahamas, United States Virgin Island, Aruba, Turks and Caicos, St Maarten, St Lucia and Barbados.
Paradela said the Expedia Group data for the Caribbean consisted of some 55 per cent couples, 26 per cent family travellers, 11 per cent multiple adults and eight per cent single travellers.
“That is an important opportunity to know what’s your traveller profile and ensure you have got a excellent strategy for each single market and each single segment,” she said.
Looking forward, Paradela said “We’re very optimistic and remain optimistic about what we’re seeing for 2022.”
She said there was strong interest in searches for the Caribbean for December and January and a downward slope for February and March. She suggested that the less searches for those later months needed to do with the short booking window.
“So let’s ensure we proceed to have very attractive offers for the Caribbean. Let’s ensure we proceed to supply flexibility, proceed to supply and convey a message of how protected and the way all of the protocols are in place within the Caribbean, and ensure we stay present,” said Paradela.
Meanwhile, Olivier Ponti, Vice President of Insights at ForwardKeys, a travel research and data analytics firm specialising in air travel, said data from that company showed that last month the Caribbean was a transparent leading destination for international travel.
He said the region was only 16 per cent down on 2019 levels, while other regions were between 37 per cent and 88 per cent behind their 2019 figures.
“This shows that the Caribbean has performed thoroughly. This has been the case for a lot of months now,” said Ponti.
He said data showed that top performers for the month of November included the USA Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, Aruba, Curacao, Puerto Rico, St Maarten, Bahamas, Jamaica and Barbados.
The highest markets within the last quarter of this 12 months for people looking for to travel to the region included the Netherlands, France, Colombia, USA and the UK.
He said when it got here to forward booking for travel to the Caribbean, loads of it was coming from the USA, Netherlands, France, UK and Chile.
Ponti further noted that the highest ten destinations with tickets confirmed for international arrivals between January and February 28, 2022, were the USVI, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba islands, St Maarten, Turks and Caicos, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Guadeloupe, St Lucia and Jamaica.
Noting that air capability was also increasing, Ponti said “The situation can change over the approaching months after all, but this shows a certain degree of confidence within the region.”
“Working on rebuilding air connectivity could also be a great strategy for destinations to further speed up the recovery,” said Ponti.
“It appears to be there are good reasons to consider that the Caribbean can be one in every of the few tourism hot spots this winter and meaning loads of opportunities for destinations and tourism businesses,” he said. [email protected]