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The Caribbean is on a Roll
By Lydia Gregory
Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace
, which took place in Barbados for the first time, was bustling with business—a reflection of the state of Caribbean tourism itself, which as of Q1 of this year, is back to pre-pandemic levels, surpassing all expectations.
During a press conference, Nicola Madden-Greig, CHTA’s president, said the Caribbean is the “number one recovering destination and region in the world.”
And while some destinations are doing better than others, she added, some saw double-digit growth, among them, the USVI (+17 percent), Sint Maarten (+13 percent), Turks & Caicos Islands (+12 percent), Guadeloupe (+18 percent) and Martinique (+18 percent).
Diversification and Options
“I think we have a really diversified product and offering,” said Madden-Greig during the conference. “There’s a lot coming out of the pandemic. As we know, people are focused on adventure and being outdoors, health and wellness, they’re looking for authentic experiences, and that’s something we deliver very well in the Caribbean.
“We are moving beyond sun, sea and sand, which has long been the focus for many of our tourism boards and us at the CHTA as well as our hotel associations, and really developing the assets that we are known for as Caribbean people. We’re very proud that our culture, heritage, food and gastronomy are playing an increased part in some of the offerings we’re seeing,” she added. For example, the
Rum Master Course
in St. Kitts or the many food trails and culinary adventures in Puerto Rico.
“It’s a wonderful time for Caribbean tourism. We have found our own voice, and we are making sure the world hears it loud and clear,” she noted.
News Across the Board
There are many new products across the region, including 68 hotels already in construction, 34 in final planning and 52 in planning. Many properties have received upgrades and renovations. Standouts among the properties with new investments include
The Westin Beach Resort & Spa
Morningstar Buoy Haus Beach Resort, an Autograph Collection
hotel, both at Frenchmen’s Reef, USVI;
The Goldwynn Resort & Residences
British Colonial Nassau
(late 2023), both in Nassau; the
InterContinental Dominica Cabrits Resort & Spa, an IHG Hotel
The Hideaway at Royalton Blue Waters
(opened last month),
Sandals Royal Dunn’s River
(late 2023) and new suites at
, all in Jamaica; new suites at
Sandals Halcyon Beach
in Saint Lucia; refreshed guestrooms at
Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort
in The Bahamas; extensive renovations at
Grand Cayman Marriott Resort
; new guestroom designs and refurbishments at
San Juan Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino
The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, All-Inclusive
(late 2023) and
The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club
Sanctuary Cap Cana, a Luxury Collection All-Inclusive Resort
W Punta Cana
(summer 2024); and
Waves Resort & Spa
in Barbados,which is set for a total refurbish in late 2023, when it will become part of the Autograph Collection.
Also making news: the
Nassau Cruise Port
, which is nearing completion, and the announcement of the new
Cable Car Dominica
, which will be the world’s longest detachable mono cable car—4.1 miles long.
Coming Soon: New Travel Advisor Program
At last October’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Madden-Greig announced plans to launch a
Certified Caribbean Travel Advisor Expert
program to unify the regional destination and brand specialist programs under one cyber-roof to help advisors sell the region. Spurred by the post-pandemic rise in the use of travel advisors, it is expected to debut this summer. Its launch means many advisors will be invited to next year’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace event, scheduled at the Montego Bay Convention Center in Jamaica.
Although inter-island connectivity is a major challenge for the region, the tourism bureaus
laser-focused on improving regional air service. Currently, you can look to
, which offers intra Caribbean flights to more destinations across the Caribbean islands than any other airline. It serves 17 island nations and 25 destinations, with over 400 city pairs, according to CEO Trevor Sadler. The airline pays commissions and has all the facilities of a traditional airline with online check-in. It’s also TSA PreCheck authorized, pet-friendly and has a “first bags fly free” policy.
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Table of Contents
Advisor Speak: Peer Advice — Selling Destination Weddings
Industry Insights: The Caribbean is on a Roll
HYATT INCLUSIVE COLLECTION
Caribbean/Mexico: Endless Love—Sun, Sand & Romance
Caribbean/Mexico: "Destination I Do"
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SAINT LUCIA SC
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Onsite Review: Iberostar Selection Playa Mita—Something for Everyone
Onsite Review: Hyatt Ziva & Zilara—The Two Faces of Hyatt in the Mexican Caribbean
South Pacific: Tahiti — New Air & Land Booking Options
Cruise: Sail Away—Cruise Lines Celebrate Love
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Onboard Review: MSC Meraviglia Relocates
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