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The Caribbean is declared the most "Travel and Tourism-Intensive" region in the world

Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association's recent Economic Impact Study revealed that this area remains the most "travel and tourism-intensive region of the world". The study proves the Caribbean holidays industry to be the region's main source of income.

The Caribbean is declared the most "Travel and Tourism-Intensive" region in the world

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) recently carried out a Caribbean Economy Impact Study to analyse the region’s current situation. The study showed that the Caribbean remains “the most travel and tourism-intensive region in the world”. With economic impact from travel and tourism equalling 14 per cent GDP, 13 per cent of employment, 12 per cent of investment and 17 per cent of exports, the importance of the tourism industry and the quality of Caribbean holidays are more than clear to see for tourism experts and holidaymakers worldwide.

This report was commissioned by CHTA, along with the cooperation of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Josef Forstmayr, president of the CHTA, who announced the report’s release at an event in St Kitts, explained how the vitality of the tourism sector in the Caribbean countries’ economies shaped the individual Caribbean nations, pointing out that travel and tourism directly or indirectly employs 2.2 million Caribbean people.

Statistics from the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) and Smith Travel Research indicate that tourist arrivals to the Caribbean have grown, making a total of $23.1 million in 2010, up 4.4 per cent from $22.1 million in 2009. The 2010 arrivals represent 2.5 per cent of the global total of 881 million international travellers and 36.6 per cent of the 30.3 million of United States-based global tourists.

 Exotic Caribbean Beach
Image by: *michael sweet*, on Flickr

As Forstmayr also pointed out, the research clearly shows how the profits of the Caribbean holidays market have increased over time and need to continue increasing, in order for the region’s economy to continue growing and prospering. “Of the 10 countries in the world most dependent on tourism, seven are in the Caribbean,” he said “There has to be a strong consensus of our leaders and the public so that travel and tourism receive the dull support it needs as the Caribbean’s most vital export industry. It is the fastest way to create jobs, grow the economy and generate income for all.” Travel and tourism’s contribution to the Caribbean’s GDP will total $70.7 billion by the year 2021, up from $48.6 billion in 2011.

 Caribbean Waterfall, Dominica
Image by: RumShopRyan, on Flickr

Another one of the report’s findings showed that even though the quality of Caribbean hotels and resorts has not fallen, hotel occupancy remained flat in 2010, decreasing to 60.4 per cent from 60.4 per cent in 2009. Regardless, rates and revenues were higher, average daily rate (ADR) grew 4 per cent in 2010 to $163.80, up from $157.29 in 2009. RevPAR reached $98.73 in 2010 up 3.9 per cent from $95 in 2009. However these results lagged behind compared to the ones obtained in 2007, when Caribbean hotels posted a collective 66.6 per cent occupancy, ADR of $201.31 and RevPAR of $134.01.

Lastly, and on a happier note, the research found a total of 20,570,000 holidaymakers arrived via cruise ship in 2010 growing 8.2 per cent from 19,016,100 in 2009. Tourists enjoying holidays in the Caribbean can live once in a lifetime experiences, such as swimming with dolphins, scuba diving or dancing to the intoxicating rhytms of reggae during exotic Jamaica holidays, for example .

The Caribbean countries taken into account for the report include: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Anguilla, Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, the former Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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