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CARIBBEAN TOURISM TURNAROUND LIKELY BY THE END OF 2022

Tourism 14 Jan, 2022 Follow News

CARIBBEAN TOURISM TURNAROUND LIKELY BY THE END OF 2022

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) says it "remains positive" about the continued rebound of the tourism industry despite the uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The regional tourism umbrella organisation credits this to the resilience of Caribbean destinations during the ongoing COVID-19 “creating strategies for recovery, incorporating frequently updated travel protocols, and collaborations with regional and international partners in the areas of health and economic support and development.”

In a press release this week giving its outlook for this year, the CTO says, “As we begin 2022, once again grappling with the effects of a new variant which is also affecting international travel adversely, we are heartened by the recovery experiences and the lessons learnt in 2021.”

It notes that while the industry is still a long way off the 2019 levels, “the exceptional results recorded in the summer to year-end period of 2021 show that a scaled or gradual rebound is likely and very possible by the end of 2022.”

“Recovery strategies, continuously being adapted to existing circumstances, based on continued partnerships and collaboration, advocating for safe and healthy visitor experiences and prioritising the health of residents, have proven to be the formula for recovery of the sector.”

The CTO says confidence remains high in the region’s tourism product, citing “our ability to outpace the global growth average for arrivals.”

It's also encouraging intra-Caribbean tourism by encouraging Caribbean nationals to “explore and rediscover the diversity within their own destinations and those around them.”

Reviewing 2021 which was marked by a continuing downturn since the world went into pandemic lockdown mode, the CTO said the past year “has given us an indication that there is light at the end of what has been a long tunnel which began in March 2020.”

It notes that by mid-2021 a the first signs of a turnaround in tourism activity had started showing, with the Caribbean exceeding the global average for stay-over arrival growth and tourism’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP).

“During the third quarter of 2021, there were 5.4 million tourist arrivals to the region, almost three times the arrivals for the same period in 2020, but still 23.3 per cent below 2019 levels. Preliminary reports suggest that this progress continued through to the end of the last quarter. Consequently, it is estimated that tourist arrivals for 2021 will exceed 2020 levels by 60 to 70 per cent,” the CTO said.


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