Looking ahead to the recovery of the region, Pablo Torres, the president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), points to the past.
“We need to be inspired by our own resiliency — looking to places like Anguilla, Saint Martin, Cancun, the Virgin Islands, The Bahamas — those global destinations struck with natural disrupters over the past 10 years, which bounced back quickly and better,” he said. “We always come back and we always come back better than in the past. Today. there is much to be hopeful about.”
Prior to the pandemic, the Caribbean was in the midst of nearly a decade of unprecedented tourism growth and transformation fuelled by new developments and increased connectivity.
“In 2019, we had over 31 million overnight visitors and another 30 million cruise visitors. At the start of 2020, the Caribbean had over 30,000 new hotel rooms under development… as we come out of the pandemic, the number has barely shifted, now at 29,000,” Torres shared at the recent Caribbean Travel Marketplace. “While the pandemic disrupted Caribbean tourism and we will feel the impact for several years, we believe the disruption will prove to be an interruption as the region’s core strength will continue on a long-term growth and development trajectory.”
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