Holiday travellers are escaping to the Caribbean, with hotels in most destinations not impacted by this year’s hurricanes reporting occupancies in excess of 90% over the holiday season.
“More than 70% of the Caribbean was not impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria and travellers are discovering the incredible diversity of destinations and offerings throughout the region, as they explore its many vacation options,” commented Frank Comito, CEO and director general of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).
CHTA canvassed a number of the region’s destinations this week to see how they are faring for the holidays and into the first quarter of 2018. The results are encouraging, according to Comito, who reports that a sampling of the region’s 32 holiday destinations all pointed to a surge in holiday bookings and most indicated that forward bookings into the first quarter of 2018 are equaling or surpassing 2017.
Several destinations reported that a number of their hotels anticipate being sold out over the Christmas and New Year’s period. Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Cancun, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and The Bahamas all reported strong bookings, and Comito expects that most of the other destinations which were unaffected by the storms are experiencing similar booking levels.
Turks and Caicos Islands, which was one of the first hurricane-impacted destinations to rebound, fully recovering and opening within weeks following the storms, is reporting occupancies in excess of 90% over the holidays and strong first quarter bookings.
Puerto Rico announced last week that it is open for business, with many of the hotels in the popular coastal stretch in and around San Juan up and running and thousands of restaurants now operating.
CHTA will be bringing Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the region’s largest B2B marketing event, to Puerto Rico from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, 2018.
Comito advised prospective travellers that there is still an opportunity to book a last minute quick escape to the region over the holidays, and into the first quarter. Agents and travellers are encouraged to visit http://www.caribbeantravelupdate.com for information about those destinations and hotels which are welcoming visitors.
“Now is a perfect time to visit and support the Caribbean and to see for yourselves how the resilience of our people offers travellers from around the world an exceptional experience – especially during this winter season and beyond,” said Comito.