After a number of years of decline, Caribbean tourism is on the upswing. The region’s destinations are attracting more travelers from around the world and many factors have contributed to this growth.
Despite the uncertainties generated by the continuing epidemic, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is optimistic about the tourism industry’s steady recovery.
According to the group, Caribbean destinations have shown resiliency in developing recovery strategies, incorporating frequently updated travel protocols, and collaborating with regional and international partners in the areas of health and economic support and development over the last eighteen months.
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Despite a bleak start to the year, the CTO now sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
The Caribbean was seeing a significant uptick in tourist activity prior to the advent of the Omicron version.
5.4 million tourists visited the area in the third quarter of 2021, over three times the number that visited in the same period of 2020, but still 23% lower than in 2019. According to preliminary assessments, this development continued into the fourth quarter. As a result, it is expected that visitor arrivals in 2021 would be 60 to 70 percent higher than in 2020.
“We are encouraged by the recovery experiences and lessons learned in 2021 as we enter 2022, once again struggling with the consequences of a new variation that is also impacting international travel negatively,” the CTO said in a statement.
“These lessons and experiences have shown us that tourism and hospitality can coexist with a pandemic that affects both our locations and markets.” While the results to yet have not suggested a return to 2019 levels, the excellent results recorded in the summer to year-end period of 2021 imply that a scaled or steady comeback by the end of 2022 is feasible and quite conceivable.”
Staying flexible and adjusting tactics to rapidly changing conditions, according to the CTO, has proved to be and will continue to be critical for the recovery of a major contributor to the Caribbean economy.
“Clearly, there is a demand for the region’s tourist offering, as shown by our ability to outperform the worldwide arrivals growth average,” adds the CTO. “It is our obligation to ensure that the area remains well-positioned to service this need in new and innovative ways.” Let us continue to work together to rebuild.”