Caribbean holiday industry to remain afloat in 2012 according to expert
The Caribbean Tourism Organisation's statistical expert, Sean Smith, affirms that the Caribbean tourism industry will manage steady results in 2012. According to him, the number of tourists taking Caribbean holidays is not likely to grow much this year.
The Caribbean tourism industry is managing to remain afloat and resilient disregarding the turbulence in the marketplace, according to an expert. Sean Smith, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation´s statistical specialist, considers that the number of tourists taking Caribbean holidays will not grow significantly in 2012 and points out some of the obstacles the region must overcome.
“Tourist arrivals to the Caribbean region remained buoyant in 2011, continuing the recovery process which began in 2010,” said Mr. Smith “Still, there were signs that we are not yet out of the woods, the figures revealed uneven growth among the destinations and revenue continued to lag arrivals.”
The expert explained how the tourism industry behaved the past year: “Overall, the Caribbean welcomed an estimated 23.8 million tourists in 2011, 3.3 percent rise over 2010 when just over 23 million stay-over visitors came to our shores. With the exception of May and October, which were down marginally, the region recorded a rise on arrivals every month in 2011 over the corresponding month of the previous year. Tourist arrivals during the winter months (January to April) were up to 4.4 per cent over the previous winter, which had grown by 3.9 percent over 2009. The summer period ending in December recorded a lower than expected increase of 3 per cent. Among the factors contributing to this performance were low consumer and business confidence and a weak US dollar.”
Image by: *michael sweet*, on Flickr
Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the most popular destinations for travellers who take holidays in the Caribbean, continued their trend of leading growth in the region. They managed to grow by 4.2 per cent in 2011 and account for more than half of all arrivals to the region. However tourism in the Dutch Caribbean performed slightly better in comparison, recording a 4.9 per cent rise, with vigorous performances in Curacao and Aruba.
However the rest of the Caribbean community found it more difficult to recover. “Reflecting poor performances from the European markets,” Said Mr. Smith “the Caribbean Community had a much slower rate of recovery, with arrivals up by just 1.2 percent. The larger group of Commonwealth Countries made up of CARICOM plus Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman islands recorded a 2.2 per cent rise, while Martinique, the lone French Caribbean destination reporting during the period, saw arrivals go up 3.9 percent.”
Image by: *michael sweet*, on Flickr
As usual, Canada outpaced all other source markets, with a 6.8 rise of Canadian tourists heading to Caribbean holidays in 2011. However there was just a 0.6 percent increase in general, in European visitors. Although, according to the expert, the United Kingdom was still one of the most important markets and had reported 58 percent of arrivals, this was a decline for the third straight year, mainly due to the weak economy and Air Passenger Duty tax increases.
Cruise passenger arrival was also flat with a marginal 0.3 per cent increase. Nevertheless, it is expected that the continued addition to cruise stock around the world will have a positive effect on Caribbean schedules. “However,” Smith said “high oil prices and the tendency to homeport close to densely populated catchment areas in place like the Mediterranean and other large European countries, especially in summer, will be some of the factors contributing to the dampening of Caribbean cruise business over all in 2012.”
Image by: jogorman, on Flickr
Sean Smith anticipates that tourists will prefer to stay home due to the economic recession or go to the Olympics in London rather than lodge in Caribbean hotels and resorts. “Higher than usual unemployment continues to prevail in the main source markets while monetary and fiscal systems remain under intense pressure,” Mr. Smith says “The US is into an election year and while some may anticipate this is a reason for US travellers to stay home, there is no hard evidence to substantiate this. The Olympic Games in England could also be a significant distraction from North South travel.”
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 17:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Caribbean and Costa Rica Browse all
Enjoy the exciting nightlife the Melia Marina Varadero Hotel has to offer, whilst relaxing during the day in the beautiful accommodation
- Excellent watersports facilities including yachting, fishing and diving
- Melia Marina Varadero Hotel is ideally located 300m from the beach in an ecological reserve with a dolphinarium and caves to explore
- Incredible all-inclusive benefits with dining at 9 restaurants at Melia Marina Varadero Hotel
- Virgin Atlantic Sale, huge reductions sale ends 4th May 2017
Stay close to all the action in a fabulous resort that's part of a beautiful ecological reserve and sits right next to Xcaret, Cancun's number one theme park.
- Exclusive discount to the eco-archaeological Xcaret Park
- Enjoy access to 11 Restaurants and 10 Bars & access to 5 Swimming Pools
- Limitless all-inclusive fun and thrills for everyone in a beautiful eco-reserve facing a glorious beach
Stay at a Havana hotel brimming with history then head off to a brand-new beachfront resort in Varadero
Relish the timeless charms of Cuba from the comfort of Cuba’s most cutting edge hotels
- Stay at two of Cuba’s most cutting edge hotels, bursting with modern comforts
- Relish an all-inclusive beach retreat, boasting an overabundance of facilities
- Explore Havana’s charismatic, timeless and bustling streets
Combine colourful and vibrant Havana with a relaxing summer 2017 beach holiday in an award winning resort on the shores of Varadero
- Book early and benifit from huge early bird summer discounts!
- Discover Havana by day visit the historial sites and by night you can listen to live music or dance to the Salsa beat
- Enjoy complimentary pool-based dive courses on offer for beginners and experience one free daily dive at the Royalton Hicacos
- Three freshwater pools including four whirlpools and signature swim-up pool bar at Royalton Hicacos ensure an unforgettable holiday
One of Havana’s most historically popular mafia-run hotels of the 50s, the Capri is a legendary property with over...
Soak up the history of Havana as well as the magnificence of Varadero beach on an unforgettable twin centre holiday to...
If you want to really feel Cuba's beating heart and pulsating rhythms, this is one of the best for an unforgettable...
This 1920s colonial house is surrounded by lush vegetation and terrace areas and boasts a stunning array of antiques,...
Fancy a charming and adventurous holiday? Why not try our twin centre package that allows you to explore the contagious...