By Frank Martin
Soon the Chinese on vacation will massively visit the islands of the Caribbean, according to forecasts in the region based on facts.
One of the facts is that the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) will host a large contingent of Chinese travel buyers for the first time in its Caribbean Travel Marketplace history.
According to the information twenty Chinese companies will join more than 1,000 delegates registered for what promises to be a dynamic edition of the event slated in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The Marketplace is a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Government of Jamaica that host small-and-medium-size tourism enterprises.
Experts said that this is a tremendous opportunity to continue to nurture and develop traditional and unique businesses, fueled by the imagination, creativity, and energy of those who see the opportunity to capture a piece of the tourism pie.
Over 1,000 individuals have preregistered for Caribbean Travel Marketplace, including about 270 delegates from 135 buyer companies in 19 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Poland, Puerto Rico, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Approximately 500 delegates from 200 supplier companies are preregistered from 26 countries, while almost 50 media/marketing companies represented by about 125 delegates have confirmed for the marquee travel and tourism event.
With the surge in new buyers in recent weeks, particularly from China and India, CHTA expects to see registrations continue to grow as more Caribbean hoteliers recognize the added opportunity at this year’s Marketplace.
Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2019 is produced by CHTA in collaboration with co-hosts the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Jamaica Ministry of Tourism.
Organizers say the 2019 event promises exciting new activities which will strengthen the connectivity between industry stakeholders.
In 2018 the Caribbean suffered a drop of 2.0 percent in arrivals as it continued to feel the effects of the September 2017 hurricanes Maria and Irma that damaged tourist hotspots such as Barbuda, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
But the WTO predicted a global increase of between three and four percent for the current year, broadly in line with historical trends.
Stable fuel prices would “translate into affordable air travel while air connectivity continues to improve in many destinations,” it predicted.
Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett says the 37th Caribbean Travel Marketplace (CTM), being hosted in Jamaica later will welcome 140 buyers the largest number in the event’s history since 2012.
Speaking at a media briefing at the Ministry of Tourism’s New Kingston office, the Minister said, that “we have to date 140 buyers from companies seeking to purchase rooms, which is very important to us.”
The Caribbean Travel Marketplace is the Caribbean’s largest marketing event, starting January 29 through to January 31, in Montego Bay.