Beyond Sun, Sand And Sea

Although over 75% of the Caribbean “didn’t even have a breeze” from the devastating hurricanes of 2017, the CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association said the impact of Irma and Maria were widespread across the region, reports assistant editor, Ann Ruppenstein in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.

“The perception that’s out there is that the Caribbean is one place,” said Frank Comito, on location in Montego Bay, Jamaica for the 37th annual Caribbean Travel Marketplace. “The geography of the region is not fully understood.”

Despite the residual implications of the hurricanes, along with rising concerns of global economic uncertainty surrounding issues like Brexit, and high airfares, Comito took to the stage to announce that tourism officials in the Caribbean are upbeat about the year ahead, with 85% of hoteliers surveyed in the fourth annual CHTA Industry Performance and Outlook Study expressing optimistic views.

The main factors driving these positive results are: unprecedented growth in airlift, continued increase in capital investments, new and updated properties coming on stream, and that fact that tourism is bouncing back in destinations affected by the hurricanes, complete with a new and improved offer.

“I see tremendous opportunity from the perspective that a lot of the product that was damaged has come back really strong, new, so there’s been a tremendous amount of improvement in product, which encourages improvement across the board,” Patricia Affonso-Dass, president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, told Canadian Travel Press. “I think out of a horrible experience has come a real improvement overall to the product quality in the region, and that bodes well for improvements in rates, improvements in revenue and improvements in opportunities for our people.”

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.