Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Caribbean tourism ‘rebounding’

Caribbean tourism is on the rebound and moving forward – thanks to a turnaround of the economy in the United States.

So says the outgoing Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Beverly Nicholson-Doty.

The positive outlook comes at a time when the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is forecasting global tourism growth of between 4 and 4.5 per cent.

“We are finally seeing that the US economy which still remains our key market for the region is improving and so has our tourism numbers,” she said.

“The forecast for this year is just a little under the 2 per cent up, year over year. Revenue in terms of room revenue is increasing; spend of people coming to the region is increasing again. Those are all positive indicators for us that the economy is rebounding, but also that the region is out there
collectively, and with the 30 members within the CTO – the diversity of our product makes people want to come back again and again.”

Despite progress, the CTO Chair noted that airlift continues to be a problem in the region. She is therefore encouraging the Incoming Chair of the CTO to continue to focus on the aviation needs of the

“I think we made progress in terms of getting the parties to speak to each other to outline major transportation, organisation .... this is taking much longer than I anticipated. We have to maintain that aviation is critical to the growth of the region,” she stressed.

“Inter-Caribbean travel is a significant part of the business segment for our small hotels product in the region, but overall as well I think we have to improve the aviation needs of our region not just for the inter-Caribbean visitors, but for the fact that it connects families. We have to improve the cost of aviation, the logistics and the service.”

Ms. Nicholson-Doty further expressed that countries of the region are not each other’s competitors. “We complement each other, we have so much to gain from best practices within the region – that we can really look to strengthen the region.” (TL)

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