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2013 promises to be a good year for the popularity of Caribbean holidays

Las month's Caribbean Travel Marketplace has made hotel executives in the region optimistic about tourism income this year. The rising number of visitors taking Caribbean holidays this year, as well as the growth of hotel revenue indicates a great outcome for tourism in 2013.

2013 promises to be a good year for the popularity of Caribbean holidays

2013 promises to be a good year for tourism in the Caribbean, according to hotel executives from the sunny region. Delegates attending last month’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace, which took place in the Bahamas and was produced by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), were very optimistic about this year’s tourism income, due to the rising number of travellers taking Caribbean holidays and the growth in hotel revenue already.

According to Bill Clegg, regional vice president, brand performance and programs for Choice Hotels International, the travel event offered great “matchmaking” opportunities for hotels, tourism attractions, tour operators and travel partners. “As we (Choice Hotels International) execute our marketing strategy and renew our commitment to product and brand performance in the Caribbean this year,” he stated “we are especially buoyed by the sentiment emerging from stakeholders about a part of the region we at Choice Hotels hold dear.”

The promise of increasing tourism income has made hotel franchisors, such as Choice Hotels International, want to increase their properties in the Caribbean. Even though the amount of tourists taking luxury holidays in the Caribbean has decreased due to the economic recession, tourism income in the region has greatly increased over the years and promises to keep rising in 2013. For this reason, Choice Hotels International, which already the franchisor for eight hotels in the Bahamas, Curacao, Grand Cayman and Puerto Rico, is looking to add at least three new Caribbean destinations to its roster.

Beverly Nicholson-Doty, recently elected chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), shares Bill Clegg’s optimism. “The state of Caribbean tourism gives us reason to be optimistic. The optimism is based on the positive signs of growth following earlier down years.”

She added; “We are optimistic because we see arrival numbers rising, particularly out of North America; we see hotel revenues moving in the right direction, albeit with moderate acceleration and we see tourist spend on the increase.”

A huge factor that has influenced this growth has been the appearance of cheap deals to the Caribbean; this way, tourism to the region has regained los territory from the economic depression in 2008-2009. “All the signs suggest Caribbean tourism is rallying,” she continued.

The CTO also confirmed that the Caribbean had welcomed nearly 25 million tourists in 2012, which represents 5.4 percent more than in 2011 and the largest number of stay-over travellers in five years. This significant growth outperformed the rest of the world which saw arrivals increase by 4 percent. Everything seems to indicate that this year the number of holidaymakers arriving to the region will continue to rise by 4 per cent, as visitors decide to experience high-quality yet affordable holidays in the Caribbean.

These are very encouraging statistics,” Clegg concluded, with best hopes for the future of Choice Hotels International which will expand its properties in the region.

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