The Caribbean was among the fastest-recovering regions globally, reclaiming 85 pc and 90 pc of total arrivals in 2019, says a report by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation.
The report adds that some individual destinations surpassed their 2019 levels with record-breaking performances, while others are approaching the benchmark levels of 2019, and are expected to equal or exceed these levels in 2023.
Nevertheless, the CTO says, a few destinations will require a longer period to reach pre-pandemic levels.
“We have seen unprecedented levels of airlift into the region from our source markets and the aforementioned recovery has been very evident in both land based and cruise tourism. This speaks to the resilience of the sector and the positive perception of the region in our source markets, based on our hospitality, stability, connectivity and our perennial well-earned status as a region for wellness,” says CTO acting Secretary General Neil Walters.
“The year 2022 and especially the second half of the year has been a very encouraging one for Caribbean tourism. While we are still seeing elements of the effect of the pandemic on international travel, here in the Caribbean, we have noted a much more consistent pattern of travel which is a good indicator of a return to normalcy and a path to 2019 levels,” adds Walters.
The CTO says one of its key goals in 2023 is to create mechanisms to ensure that the Caribbean remains in the top five of the fastest-growing tourism regions in the world.
“The CTO is the region’s tourism development agency and in recognizing this, the CTO Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism has started a process to reshape the organization to reposition it to be more relevant in the post-pandemic era,” says Kenneth Bryan, who chairs the council as well as serving as Minister of Tourism and Transport for the Cayman Islands.
“In this way, the CTO can best lead the region in developing tourism into a more resilient and robust sector, confirming its significant contribution to positive regional economic growth,” adds Bryan.