As the Caribbean tourism industry revels in the recent gains from the US travel market, stakeholders are being warned that competition is on the horizon and much planning is necessary to sustain the momentum the region has been enjoying.
According to ForwardKeys, following strong US arrivals performance over the past couple of years, “Caribbean destinations need to rethink their US strategy now that they are facing tougher competition”.
“The US as an outbound source market is currently the world’s travel recovery powerhouse, with a high number of travellers keen to explore and spend their hard-earned cash on new experiences,” note travel data experts at the company, while cautioning that “destinations that have depended on this audience in the past now face more global competition and cannot rely on a generic approach”.
The company, which has established itself as the industry reference for global travel trends and insights, reports that Caribbean hotspots such as Cancún, Punta Cana, Montego Bay, and San José del Cabo have managed to retain the success they achieved in 2021 and continue to increase their international arrivals compared with the 2019 benchmark year – even with tough competition from European destinations.
It is not just Mexico and the Caribbean which are thriving; US travellers have a strong appetite for global travel, including taking long-haul flights to get to their destination.
According to the travel intelligence specialist, Europe is fast approaching full recovery, largely thanks to the US lifting its ban on incoming European travellers in November 2021, which normalised bilateral traveller flows.
Additionally, favourable US dollar–Euro conversion rates are driving demand for travel to Europe. ForwardKeys opines that exchange rates have become key to the decision-making process as travellers consider the cost of airfares, accommodations and activities as well as concerns around inflation and recession.
Source: MPE Caribbean Tourism Authority