Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Region must focus on emerging markets

AS the region seeks to increase its visitor arrivals, it must focus on generating interest in emerging markets, including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

This will be one of the main talking points on the agenda at the upcoming State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Martinique, which will be held from October 15-18.

According to the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Travel Marketing expert Paul Cohen is expected to
provide Caribbean and international tourism stakeholders with the key ingredients needed to increase business from major emerging markets during his presentation.

He is expected to analyse current trends in international travel, advise how those looking to penetrate these emerging markets can measure results and reveal the secrets to understanding these growing markets and expectations of the travellers.

“International travel is expected to reach a new all-time high in 2014 and the growth is driven by emerging markets,” Cohen said. “China, Russia and Brazil are growing markets, but which of these are ready to visit the Caribbean? Does our destination have the tourism product available that these travellers are looking for?”

He stressed that it was critical to have the relevant information about such travellers on hand, including what they want in a destination and how they go about researching and booking travel.

“Destinations looking to attract visitors from these markets must also have basic information about these travellers, including age, income level, average spend and travel behaviours,” he said, adding that Caribbean countries must determine whether they have the tourism product that these travellers are looking for.

The theme for the State of the Industry Conference is “Perfecting the Experience; Delivering Authenticity”. The annual conference, which brings together tourism professionals, academics, researchers, policy-makers and journalists, is organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation in conjunction with the Martinique Tourism Bureau.

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