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TTC Special. 2016: Good prospects for tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean

TTC Service.- The tourism industry in Latin America and the Caribbean has good prospects in 2016, despite real obstacles such as the climate change, and thanks to positive factors such as the “thaw” between the US and Cuba.

No expert rejects that the consequences of climate change can damage the tourism industry especially in the Caribbean. The region will face in 2016 alternating droughts and heavy rains, sea surges that may become permanent, and soil erosion among other phenomena. However, there is evidence that in the whole region unified programs are underway to combat climate attacks, and especially protect populations and tourists from its effects.

As for the “concerns” particularly in the Caribbean by the change of relations between Cuba and the United States with a “diversion” of thousands of American tourists to the island as a result, many analysts believe that this should actually be a positive factor for regional tourism. An example of this approach is valid are the Caribbean cruises. Near the end of 2015  arrived in Havana  from Italy the MSC Opera cruise ship with 1,749 passengers aboard, the largest ever cruise ship to dock at the island. The good news for the Caribbean is that the  Cuban capital is already the  MSC Opera port of call for its winter season in the Caribbean, until April 2016. Other stopovers in the region are Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Mexico, according to the executive director of the Italo-Swiss firm MSC Cruises, cited by the Cuban press.

During the cruise season on the island, is expected that Cuba will  receive about 600,000 travelers.

Cuban unofficial statistics show that among the 14 ships will visit Havana Bay this season, with a total of 90 scales. They could disembark 600,000 cruise passengers in Havana and in others Caribbean destinations. When American tourists begin arriving in greater numbers to Cuba because of the thaw with the United States, much will aboard cruise ships that touch other Caribbean ports, experts say.

Forecast for Latin American countries

The overall forecasts for the tourism industries of Latin American countries in 2016 are generally positive.  Meredith Deliso, wrote in the digital site AM New YOrk that “Latin America is on the map for 2016”.

According to Deliso the new travel developments, high-profile events and trend reports all point to the region as a major travel destination in the coming year. “And at the forefront of that interest: Cuba”, she added.

“Just last week, the United States and Cuba reached an agreement to allow commercial airlines such as American Airlines, JetBlue and United Airlines to operate flights to the island, a move that will make it even easier to visit since travel restrictions were loosened this year”, Deliso added.

She wrote that eyes are also on Rio de Janeiro. “Already a popular destination, as the Brazilian city gears up to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, it’s building new highways, an extended subway line, hotels and tourist information centers to improve travel and tourism in the metropolis”.

“Increased interest in Latin American culture is also expected to boost visits to the region”, specialist estimated.

Deliso cited in her article to Sarah Spagnolo, Foursquare editor-at-large, predicting that “Latin America is going to be a very important part of travel from the U.S.” in 2016.