Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Fewer Canadians head to the Caribbean first quarter of 2013

VISITOR arrivals to the Caribbean from Canada have grown consistently over the past five years.

This was disclosed by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) Secretary-General, Hugh Riley, in his recent remarks to the Caribbean Media Marketplace and Caribbean Week Canada.

“Canadian visitors to the Caribbean are now just over three million of the 25 million total visitors who came to our shores in 2012. In 2012, we saw a 6.8 per cent increase in visitors from the Canadian market.”

However, he pointed out that 2013 continues not in the same vein.

According to Riley, the region started the first quarter with a challenge. In fact, he noted that a number of Caribbean countries have shown a decline.

“We recognise the fact that even though Canada has grown consistently for the last five years, even though there was a healthy 6.8 increase at the end of last year, we are seeing a little bit of a challenge so far this year.

“Is it a cause for panic? No. But it is a cause for concern.

“But it tells us that there are some things we really have to be paying attention to,” he stressed.

The Secretary-General also revealed that the CTO is focusing on better visitor satisfaction and testing a new visitor survey in six markets, with an eye to expanding the programme across the board.

“The Caribbean is not taking visitor satisfaction lightly,” Riley expressed.

“This programme will do two very important things: It will show visitors we are paying a great deal of attention to their needs, and it will also show us where we need to improve.”

He further stated that ultimately the Caribbean wants to position itself as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination by 2017.

“It’s a tall order, but the CTO is focused and determined.” (TL)

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