Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Traditional source market economies impacting C’bean

In the traditional source markets where recovery is occurring, things are looking up as is the case in the United States’ source market. However, the slow recovery in Canada and in Europe coupled with its introduced taxes, are still impacting regional tourism to a large extent.

Speaking at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) 2014 State of the Industry Press Conference in USVI on Monday, Chairman of the CTO, the Hon. Beverly Nicholson-Doty, painted the picture within these three source markets.

Beginning with the US, she told the media, “The signs began emerging in 2012 that Americans were coming back to the Caribbean in their customary numbers. Although the growth slowed last year, we continue to be encouraged by the upward movement.”

Secondly, she looked at the Canadian source market, taking no solace in the fact that “Canadian stay-over visitors to the region increased by a marginal 0.7 per cent in 2013 over 2012, [because] this was the lowest year-over-year growth in this market since 1997”.

She said, “This performance reflected the fact that the number of Canadians taking international trips, except to the US, was virtually flat in 2013.”

And she lamented that, “the numbers from the UK and the rest of Europe suggest that business from this very important market remains sluggish. […] The ongoing challenges across Europe, though not as severe as in previous years, affected arrivals. [...] Overall, the number of Europeans visiting the region last year fell by three-and-three-quarter per cent to four-and-three-quarter per cent.”

Nicholson-Doty reiterated, “Under a million visitors came to the Caribbean from the UK last year. That’s down nearly one-and-a-half per cent,” and she attributed it “to the Air Passenger Duty and low economic growth of under two per cent last year”. (KG)

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