According to Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) chairman, Richard Sealy, the Caribbean is on target to receive 30 million tourists by the end of 2016.
In his address to more than 500 delegates including government ministers, High Commissioners, private and public sector officials, at the opening ceremony of the State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC 2016), he noted that the Caribbean has continued to see an uptick in tourist arrival throughout the year to date.
In 2015, the region recorded 28.7 million in visitor arrivals, an increase of seven per cent.
“With this performance, the Caribbean has outpaced international tourism arrivals which grew by 4.4 percent in 2015,” Sealy said.
“We must commend ourselves on achieving healthy growth in this challenging, competitive industry. This is a very healthy state of affairs.”
He also linked the increased in arrivals to the expansion in hotel accommodation and argued that Barbados plans to increase its room stock by some 2,306 by 2019, with a planned investment of USD 1.0 billion.
Sealy lamented the crises of the ‘70s to the ‘90s faced by the tourism industry but applauded the bounce back made by the sector since then.
“These downturns gave rise to new products, services, and methodologies, whilst new markets were explored,” he touted.
He also pointed to new trends in tourists’ travel and the importance of keeping pace with these new developments in the sector in order to enhance and add value to the product.
Carol Maye, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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