TTC Service.- The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) see a robust upturn in the regional tourism sector, no matter “a weather incident” in one part of the region.
“A growing number of travelers are understanding that the Caribbean is a vast region comprising many diverse destinations all rich in natural beauty but each distinct in its history, music, culture, food and welcoming hospitality,” said Frank Comito CEO of the CHTA whose statements quoted this week the newspaper The Nassau Guardian, in Bahamas.
According to Comito high consumer demand for a Caribbean travel experience and increased tourism investments in hotels and airport improvements bode well for the future of the Caribbean’s tourism sector, “which is exceeding 2018 expectations despite the fact that some hotels in six of the Caribbean’s 32 major destinations are still in rebuilding mode following last year’s hurricanes”.
Hurricanes and other climatic events in the Caribbean Sea have triggered the alarms of the international tourism industry linked to the area. Scientists say that climate change has made stronger and more frequent these storms, droughts and the penetration of the sea into useful lands in the islands.
However, the climate problems have not prompted a feeling of failure in the region, which is increasingly organizing itself to face the problems.
“Thanks to the robust upturn in the tourism sector, many parts of the region are seeing corresponding growth in employment, visitor spending, government revenue, and public and private sector investments to upgrade and expand the tourism product” the businessman estimated.
“Capitalizing on these trends and getting the region to work together on marketing and addressing other matters which can cause tourism to be an even greater economic engine for the region is a challenge which the region’s public and private sector leaders must embrace,” he stated.
The Nassau Guardian added that Comito echoed a challenge by Frank Rainieri, the noted developer of the Punta Cana region in the Dominican Republic, to attendees at the Caribbean Hotel and Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) in Miami last month to work together on common matters which impact the entire Caribbean region, in particular aviation, marketing and sustainability.
Rainieri, chairman and founder of Grupo Puntacana, received CHRIS’ Lifetime Achievement Award at the event.
A CHTA study earlier this year revealed that 58 percent of hoteliers have a positive or extremely positive outlook for the industry’s future.
“This was reinforced by the record level of attendees at CHRIS as investor interest in the Caribbean has strengthened since the two Category 5 hurricanes of 2017. According to data recently collected by the World Travel and Tourism Council, hurricane-affected destinations themselves anticipate annual tourism spending growth of 8.7 percent in 2019 through 2021”, the newspaper explained.
“In all of our discussions with industry stakeholders from destinations such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, Dominica and Anguilla, we fully expect them to be showcasing to the traveler a completely revamped, fresh new product. We’re already beginning to see that in several of the destinations and, later this year, expect it to accelerate as more refurbished and rebuilt hotels come on stream”, according to Comito.
About the recents hurricanes of 2017 he added that more than 70 percent of the region was unaffected by the storms.
“The hurricanes taught us that the Caribbean is viewed as one brand in the minds of the public and the consumer. The lesson learned is that we’ve got to work more closely together as a region, public and private sectors, to let the world know about the lifetime of experiences and destinations which our vast region offers”.