Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association CEO Warns of Empty Hotel Rooms

Montego Bay
Photo by Dean Fikar/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Empty hotel rooms are costing the Caribbean billions of dollars in economic opportunity each year, warned Frank Comito, CEO and director general of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).

With an estimated 84,000 hotel rooms vacant each night, filling just 10 percent of them would inject nearly US$2 billion into the region each year.

He says it is important for stakeholders to attend the 37th edition of Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Montego Bay, Jamaica, which will attract hotel and destination representatives from high-level executives to key decision makers; wholesalers and tour operators; online travel agencies; Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) planners; and members of the media for several days of business meetings, including a program of thousands of pre-scheduled appointments to expand their businesses.

Citing both STR and CHTA research on tourism performance, Comito contended that an additional 10 percent in visitor expenditures would generate $628 million more in room revenue each year, plus two-thirds of added spend per visitor on food and beverage, attractions, taxis and ground transportation, retail purchases and local services.

Online registration for CHTA's annual signature event is open and participants can use the special rates which are available until November 6, 2018.

Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2019 is produced by CHTA in collaboration with co-hosts Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Jamaica Ministry of Tourism. It is an event in the Caribbean tourism industry where more than 1,000 delegates from 26 Caribbean countries meet with buyers from over 20 markets.

The 2019 event is expected to have an increase in the number of buyers and suppliers and new activities that will strengthen the connectivity between industry stakeholders.

For more information, visit

Related Stories

Caribbean Launches “The Rhythm Never Stops” Marketing Campaign

The Caribbean Comeback: The Latest From Hurricane-Affected Islands

CHTA Attends Clinton Charity on Hurricane Relief

St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association Notes Success, Names New Pres