“The region as a whole has regained ground lost in the heat of the global economic depression.”
“The Caribbean also saw its largest number of stayover visitors in five years, with the region’s overall hotel occupancy increasing by more than seven per cent and room revenues up by nearly nine percent.”
“About 25 million tourists visited the Caribbean last year, a more than 5 per cent increase from 2011. Its a growth rate that outpaced the rest of the world.”
Beverly-Nicholson-Doty, Caribbean Tourism Organisation Chairperson
These and other equally encouraging statements were recently uttered by Beverly-Nicholson-Doty, chairwomen of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation. To the majority of the Minister’s of Tourism within the Caribbean, it must be like hearing pleasurable music in their ears.
Sadly, not to Barbados where instead of recording an almost 6 per cent growth in 2012, we experienced a 5.5 per cent fall in long stay visitor arrivals – a near 11 per cent differential. Any newly elected Government must consider the reasons behind this dismal performance as an imperative before more hotels close, further lay-offs occur and remaining airlift is further eroded.
Also interesting is the tourism spend in the Caribbean for 2012 which was estimated at US$27.5 billion a increase of 3.6 per cent over the previous year and the third successive year of increases. This again seems to buck the trend on Barbados where the overwhelming opinion across the industry is that average spend is down.
I was frankly amazed at the absence of dialogue and solutions on the current crisis in tourism leading up to the general election. Perhaps highlighted by when the moderator on the popular Down to Brass Tacks Sunday programme admitted that no-one from the sector’s trade association was available to participate.
Barbados Tourism Authority rejects a viable proposal: Second Cities Continue reading