SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Travel Agent is on hand for the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) 2018 Caribbean Travel Marketplace, where we obtained details on the Caribbean region’s 2017 hotel performance, which was actually better than expected considering the back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes that decimated tourism products on several major Caribbean islands.
But Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria were not the only issues affecting Caribbean tourism in 2017. Frank Comito, CEO and director general for the CHTA, says the three factors that affected performance last year were hurricanes; airlift (its availability and cost) and the perception of safety.
“Overall, 2017 was a mixed bag,” says Comito. “Stopover arrivals were up, but were below forecast. There was a 1.2 percent dip in occupancy, but imagine if there were no storms. Had you taken that out of the picture, we would have had a really good year as a region.”
Total revenues were up for 32 percent of hotels and down for 44 percent of hotels. Hotels rates were reduced by 35 percent of hotels while rates increased for 40 percent of hotels. Also, Comito mentioned that room occupancy was down for 45 percent of the hotels and up for 25 percent of hotels. Employment levels of hotels increased for 44 percent of properties while 20 percent of hotels reported a decline. Comito noted that RevPar was up sightly with a 0.7 percent slightly.
2019 Caribbean Travel Marketplace to be Held in Jamaica
The 2018 Caribbean Travel Marketplace in San Juan, Puerto Rico attracted 102 buyer companies, representing 18 markets that serve the Caribbean region and 228 supplier companies were on hand. Next year’s event, to be held sometime in January, will be hosted in Jamaica.
“We are very excited to have Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Jamaica next year,” says Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism for Jamaica. “We want Jamaica to be the center of thought and strategies for Caribbean tourism.”
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