Caribbean tourism bounces back, Jamaica among the most resilient

June 2, 2022

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) noted that the region’s tourism renaissance is well underway, with some destinations approaching or exceeding record visitor arrival numbers. As a result, hoteliers throughout the region have an optimistic outlook for what the future holds.

Tourism officials mention pent-up traveler demand, the elimination or significant reduction in travel restrictions, the return of airlifts, attractive deals and packages being offered by hotels, and a range of destination and hotel choices and upgrades that are now in place as the main factors for the rebound.

CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig applauded the region’s tourism, health, and government leaders for their effort over the past two years to position the region’s largest industry, tourism, to recover from the pandemic.

She pointed to the announcement last month by the World Travel and Tourism Council at its global summit in Manila, recognizing the Caribbean and Latin America as leading the global tourism recovery.

“Today’s traveler has many choices when planning a Caribbean getaway, thanks to the efforts of so many. Over the past decade, we’ve seen an explosion of new and upgraded hotels and infrastructure improvements.

“During the pandemic, many hotels and attractions used the time to improve on their product and service offerings, also recognizing the changing needs of the discerning traveler. We continue to offer accommodation experiences that appeal to the full range of traveler interests.

“Beyond our world-famous beaches and waters, travelers can experience our diverse cultural, culinary, and historic treasures. And we’ve worked diligently to put in place health safety protocols which are effective and as non-intrusive as possible,” she added.

Madden-Greig noted that, on average, hotels and resorts in the Caribbean will approach close to 80% 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. In addition, investment in new and upgraded hotels and resorts has not slowed.

CHTA’s Director General, Vanessa Ledesma, echoed these sentiments recently at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) and using 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, recently 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, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and The Bahamas – are among the “most resilient” based on confirmed arrivals for the summer.


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