Caribbean tourism rebounds | Source Saint-Thomas
The Caribbean tourism renaissance is well underway, with some destinations approaching or surpassing record numbers of visitor arrivals.
Tourism officials cite pent-up traveler demand, the elimination or significant reduction of travel restrictions, the return of the airlift, attractive hotel deals and packages, and a range of choices and upgrades. level of destinations and hotels that are now in place as key factors. for the rebound.
Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) President Nicola Madden-Greig praised the region’s tourism, health and government leaders for their work over the past two years to position the largest industry in the region, tourism, to recover from the pandemic.
Madden-Greig pointed to the announcement made last month by the World Travel and Tourism Council at its global summit in Manila, acknowledging that the Caribbean and Latin America are leading the global tourism recovery.
“Today’s traveler has many choices when planning a Caribbean getaway, thanks to the efforts of so many people. Over the past decade we have seen an explosion of new and modernized hotels and infrastructure improvements. During the pandemic, many hotels and attractions have used the time to improve their product and service offerings, also recognizing the changing needs of the discerning traveler. We continue to provide lodging experiences that meet all traveler interests.
“Beyond our world-famous beaches and waters, travelers can discover our diverse cultural, culinary and historical treasures. And we have worked diligently to put in place health security protocols that are effective and as discreet as possible,” she said.
Madden-Greig noted that on average, hotels and resorts in the Caribbean will approach nearly 80% of their pre-pandemic record performance this year, with some destinations setting all-time records. Cruise ships are returning, which is especially important for attractions, transportation providers such as independent taxis, and small and medium vendors. Also, investment in new and renovated hotels and resorts has not slowed.
“These are all great metrics that indicate traveler confidence and demand for the Caribbean. We are seeing the fruits of years of hard work by industry and governments across the region to invest in our product. tourism and our people, and to broaden our appeal as we find new ways to provide a diverse and exciting experience for our visitors,” says Madden-Greig.
“Travelers to the Caribbean can experience our diverse offerings by land or sea, through a cruise vacation, or through a coveted, longer stay in destination for a more immersive experience. It’s never been easier to do the Caribbean Your way, and there are options for all interests and budgets. From high-end luxury accommodation on land or sea to comfortable cottages and apartments”.
Interim CEO and Managing Director of CHTA, Vanessa Ledesma, echoed these thoughts recently at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS). Drawing on data from ForwardKeys, Ledesma highlighted the region’s strong interest in summer and fall travel. “It reflects the mindset of travellers, with accessibility of the region, brand identity and handling of the pandemic being key elements driving demand,” she said.
ForwardKeys, CHTA’s data partner, recently reported that the Caribbean and Latin America lead the summer outlook in terms of leisure travel returns, noting that five destinations – Aruba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Bahamas – are among the “most resilient” based on confirmed arrivals for the summer.
Developer confidence is also evident in STR’s most recent pipeline report, with nearly 30,000 rooms in development or under construction over the next five years.
Madden-Greig pointed to new challenges facing the industry as inflation drives higher operating and travel costs and uncertainty in Eastern Europe impacts travel. “As the cost of travel increases around the world due to these and other factors, we will continue to focus on delivering exceptional value and experiences to travelers,” the CHTA chief said.
“This is particularly important in our highly competitive global marketplace. Despite these challenges, we anticipate over the coming weeks and months a proliferation of industry deals and specials to continue to satisfy travelers’ desire to come to the Caribbean.