Caribbean’s Tourism Renaissance Is Well Underway: CHTA

According to the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the region’s tourism renaissance is well underway, with some destinations approaching or exceeding record tourist arrival numbers. Per tourism officials, key factors for the rebound include pent-up traveler demand, the removal or substantial reduction in travel bans, the return of airlift, promotional deals and packages being offered by hotels, and a range of destination and hotel choices and upgrades.

CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig applauded the region’s tourism, health and government leaders for their contribution towards assisting the region’s tourism industry to recover from the pandemic.

Madden-Greig noted that, on average, hotels and resorts in the Caribbean will approach close to 80 percent of their record pre-pandemic performance this year, with some destinations setting all-time records. Cruise ships are returning, which is especially important to attractions, transportation providers such as independent taxis, and small- and medium-sized vendors. Additionally, investment in new and upgraded hotels and resorts has not slumped.

“These are all great indicators which point to traveler confidence and demand for the Caribbean. We are seeing the fruits of years of hard work by the industry and governments throughout the region to invest in our tourism product and our people, and to broaden our appeal as we find new ways to provide a diverse and exciting experience for our visitors,” said Madden-Greig.

Vanessa Ledesma, CHTA’s acting CEO and director general echoed these thoughts recently at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS). Pointing to data from ForwardKeys, Ledesma highlighted the strong interest in the region for summer and fall travel. “This is reflective of the travelers’ mindset with the accessibility of the region, brand identity and management of the pandemic being key elements that are driving demand,” she said.

ForwardKeys, CHTA’s data partner, reported that the Caribbean and Latin America are leading the summer outlook in terms of the return of leisure travel, noting that five destinations—Aruba, Jamaica, the 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 latest 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 is resulting in higher operating and travel costs and the uncertainty in Eastern Europe impacts travel. “While the cost of travel increases worldwide due to these and other factors, we will continue to focus on providing value and exceptional traveler experiences,” she said. “This is particularly important in our highly competitive global marketplace. Despite these challenges, we anticipate over the coming weeks and months to see a proliferation of deals and special offers by the industry to continue to appeal to travelers’ desire to come to the Caribbean.”

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