Caribbean Tourism Believes Scaled Rebound Is Likely By End of 2022

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) said this week it remains positive about the continued rebound of the tourism industry even in the face of the uncertainty caused by the ongoing pandemic and new variants.

Over the past 18 months, Caribbean destinations, the CTO points out, have shown their resilience in creating strategies for recovery, incorporating frequently updated travel protocols, and collaborations with regional and international partners in the areas of health and economic support and development. Recovery in each instance, it says, has taken place while ensuring the health and safety of residents and visitors alike.

According to the CTO, 2021 provided an indication “that there is light at the end of what has been a long tunnel.” To note: The region saw a turnaround in tourism activity, with the Caribbean exceeding the global average for stayover arrival growth and tourism’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). During the third quarter of 2021, there were 5.4 million tourist arrivals to the region—that was almost three times the arrivals for the same period in 2020, but still 23.3 percent below 2019 levels. Preliminary reports suggest that this progress continued through to the end of the last quarter. Consequently, it is estimated that tourist arrivals for 2021 will exceed 2020 levels by 60 to 70 percent.                      

“While the results to date have not indicated a return to 2019 levels, the exceptional results recorded in the summer to year-end period of 2021 show that a scaled or gradual rebound is likely and very possible by the end of 2022,” the CTO said.

It continued: “Even as we work on our short-term strategies for recovery of the sector, we urge longer-term approaches to promote sectoral sustainability. Building on our 2021 World Tourism Day message, we encourage moving towards social inclusion and creating smart destinations based on smart businesses as key planks which will lead to sustainability. Our human resources, which are our key assets, are critical to the success of the sector. During 2022, the CTO hopes to build on a regional study of human resources to maintain the excellence of our hospitality.”

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