As part of our Destinations to Watch series, all week we’ll be profiling noteworthy destinations to keep on your radar this year. Whether it’s a hot emerging destination or an established location that’s been given new life, keep your eye on these places this year. We’ve taken a look at cruise ports, as well as places in Central and South America and Asia to keep in mind; today, we turn our eyes to the Caribbean.
Tobago: Just as Sandals has created buzz around the over-the-water room category in the Caribbean, it is also responsible for creating excitement over the island of Tobago, which has always served as a two-day getaway from sister island Trinidad, and now may be able to stand on its own as viable option for a four- or five-day getaway.
And that's because Sandals' most loyal advisors and clients were most likely paying attention when the company issued a statement back in October announcing official plans to open both a Sandals Resort and a Beaches Resort on Tobago.
It will be interesting to see if Sandals' presence on the island will influence increased airlift to the destination as it has done in other destinations like Grenada.
Smaller Islands: Also, as part of our recent Caribbean trends feature, Caribbean experts including Scott Wiseman, president of Travel Impressions, and Dave Ferran, head of sales for Classic Vacations, hinted smaller islands like Grenada and Nevis are picking up steam heading into the new year.
Ferran says there is also interest in St. Kitts with the recently-opened Park Hyatt St. Kitts, while Wiseman also points to St. Lucia as an island that is continues to perform well, propped up by high-end resorts such as [Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort] and Cap Maison, as well Jade Mountain, Rendezvous and The BodyHoliday.
Grenada’s profile has grown considerably with Spice Island Beach Resort catering to the affluent market and mid-range properties such as Mount Cinnamon [Resort & Beach Club] and Coyaba Beach Resort attracting value-seekers.
"Finally, the most famous out-of-the-hurricane-belt islands are of course Aruba and Curacao, but Bonaire is another great option that will nearly guarantee sunny weather," says Wiseman. "Flights are limited to Bonaire, but certainly worth the trip for snorkelers and divers."