by Marlon Madden
With Caribbean destinations remaining a top alternative for people seeking to make a journey this yr, tourism officials are being urged to remain on top of shoppers’ concerns and keep them up to this point on COVID-19 protocol changes. This reminder got here through the latest Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Live resilient series. The subject was The Latest Caribbean Travel Trends: Capturing your Share of Growing Demand.
Ariadne Barrios, Caribbean Sales Manager with Travelzoo, said a US members’ survey conducted initially of March showed that 68 per cent of members researched travel ideas prior to now week, 35 per cent have made reservations to travel domestically and internationally, while 21 per cent had travelled.
Further, 83 per cent of those surveyed said they felt confident they might travel safely, while 84 per cent of respondents said they were vaccinated and received a booster. “We imagine that a part of that confidence stem from the incontrovertible fact that they meet the rules for travel freely,” said Barrios.
“The Caribbean is the primary international destination for travel for US members, coming before other destinations like Italy, Mexico, Canada and the UK. On top of that, greater than half of our members told us the Caribbean is a top destination they need to visit this yr overall. The Caribbean was at the highest of the list last yr as well. So you might be all doing a tremendous job attracting avid travellers,” she said.
Travelzoo is a worldwide publisher and influencer of travel content and deals, boasting some 30 million members globally, with 15 million within the US, about 1.4 million in Canada and 4.4 million within the UK. Barrios said that with the Caribbean being on the bucket list of many individuals who desired to make a journey this yr, it was necessary to make sure that complaints are handled and knowledge regarding entry protocols is kept current and simply accessible.
“Make sure that that your general manager or someone who can respond with seniority and authority is addressing the purchasers’ concerns, especially after they should do with cleanliness. And eventually, COVID protocols change on a regular basis . . . so just keep them updated and simply accessible to folks who’re looking
to travel,” she advisable.
She noted that beyond the US market, Travelzoo members elsewhere also had “high interest” in Caribbean destinations.
“Once we asked the UK [members] the Caribbean ranked after the US for top destination outside of Europe. For the Canadian, French and Spanish, the Caribbean islands rank high after the US, Mexico and Costa Rica,” she said.
The survey revealed that Travelzoo members were staying longer in destinations, with lots of them especially from Europe planning to remain eight nights or more. “Sixty per cent of US members said they plan to take at the very least one international trip and 29 per cent plan to take two or more international trips this yr. Our Canadian audience responded with similar numbers.
For European members, travel plans are even higher, with members in Germany, France and Spain planning on at the very least two international trips this yr and after they take those trips they plan to remain and play longer. Most members, that’s 65 per cent, are planning for stays between 8 and 14 nights,” said Barrios.
“We saw little interest for travelling internationally for fewer than five nights, and we definitely see this trend reflected in our recent international viewer content,” she added, while reminding that last yr people were planning five to seven night stays. She reported that 87 per cent of members said their disposable income for travel would remain the identical or increase this yr. That is up from 83 per cent from last yr. “That is all excellent news for tourism boards and great news for resorts when it comes to on sight spend,” she said.
Over half of those surveyed said they planned to book international travel at the very least 4 months or more upfront, while 17 per cent said they’d book after they see “the suitable offer”. Barrios said Travelzoo recently launched offers for Barbados and other markets which have to date “generated loads of bookings”. She said the recent offers have resulted in people booking an extended length of stay and room category upgrades.