The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) says it remains positive about the continued rebound of the tourism industry, even in the face of uncertainty caused by the ongoing pandemic.
The group says that over the past eighteen months, Caribbean destinations have demonstrated resilience by creating recovery strategies, incorporating frequently updated travel protocols and collaborating with regional and international partners in the areas of health and economic support and development.
Today, despite a discouraging start to the year, the CTO sees the light at the end of a long tunnel.
Prior to the arrival of the Omicron variant, the Caribbean was experiencing a marked turnaround in tourist activity.
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% below 2019 levels. Preliminary reports suggest that this progression continued until the end of the last quarter. Consequently, tourist arrivals for 2021 are estimated to exceed 2020 levels by 60-70%.
“As we begin 2022 once again grappling with the effects of a new variant that is also negatively affecting international travel, we are encouraged by the recovery experiences and lessons learned in 2021,” the CTO said in a statement.
“These experiences and lessons have taught us that travel and hospitality can co-exist with the pandemic affecting both our destinations and our markets. Although the results to date do not indicate a return to 2019 levels, the exceptional results recorded from the summer to the end of 2021 show that a gradual or gradual rebound is likely and very possible by the end of 2022.”
The CTO says that remaining nimble and adapting strategies to rapidly changing circumstances has proven and will continue to be necessary for the recovery of a hugely important contributor to the Caribbean economy.
“There is clearly a demand for the region’s tourism product, as demonstrated by our ability to exceed the global average growth in arrivals,” the CTO said. “It is our responsibility to ensure that we continue to position the region to meet this demand in new and renewed ways. Let’s continue to rebuild together.