The Caribbean is not limited to recovery, but growth, despite all the macroeconomic factors. (photo courtesy cdwheatley/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
A new study by ForwardKeys highlights that the friendly hospitality and excellent air connections now justify more international visitors to the Caribbean than other parts of the world.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, ForwardKeys’ data revealed the success stories of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, but in 2022 the number of travelers across the region grows, the report adds.
VP of Insights at ForwardKeys, Olivier Ponti, noted that the Caribbean example is not limited to recovery, but growth, despite all the macroeconomic factors, such as the slowdown in the global economy and rising gasoline costs.
In the fourth quarter of this year, tourism figures accelerated even more. Leading the way in arrivals from abroad is the Dominican Republic, with 40 percent more than in 2019, followed by the U.S. Virgin Islands (+33 percent), Bonaire (+30 percent), and Martinique (+26 percent).
Caribbean Captures Other Markets
Air connectivity is the key to achieving growth, Ponti adds, as a look at the Seat Capacity Data shows destinations such as the Dominican Republic and Guadeloupe performing better thanks to increased direct flights since 2019.
In the fourth quarter, the Caribbean is very popular among Colombians. There is a 54 percent change in the number of arrivals versus the same time in 2019. Meanwhile, Curacao may see a +304 percent change from Argentina.
Finally, some Caribbean destinations are even managing to attract the non-leisure market. Across the region, business travel is returning and in growth mode.
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) predicted a 4 percent year-on-year growth rate over the next 10 years for the tourism sector in Latin America, almost double compared to the growth of the region’s total economy, which is estimated to be 2.3 percent for the same period.
Maria Major island Saint Lucia. (photo by Brian Major)
Growth in Sight
According to its latest Economic Impact Report (EIR), this industry will generate 5.5 million new jobs over the next decade in Latin America, with a year-on-year growth rate of 3.2 percent.
Likewise, the report states that in 2021 the contribution of the travel and tourism sector to Latin America’s GDP represented 6.1 percent (US$213.4 billion), which meant a growth of 26.5 percent over the previous year.
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC stated, “With the global health crisis, Latin America’s Travel & Tourism sector has been severely affected. However, as the global economy begins to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic, jobs generated by the tourism sector are beginning to increase.”
Latin America’s travel and tourism sector, during 2019, contributed $288.1 billion to GDP, representing 8.2 percent of the region’s economy. However, in 2020, when the pandemic severely impacted the industry, its contribution fell by 41.4 percent.
Travel and Tourism a Primary Driver
Porto Mari Beach Curacao (photo by Brian Major)
During 2021, in Latin America, employment in the travel and tourism sector increased by 8 percent compared to 2020, with the industry generating 14.25 million jobs, representing almost 7 percent of total work in the region. The latter figure was only 1.1 percent below that recorded in 2019.
The regional contribution of the sector in 2021 was still 2.1 percent below the figure recorded in 2019, with a difference of US$74.7 billion.
According to the Economic Impact Report (EIR), the contribution of the global travel and tourism sector to the world economy during 2021 reached US$5.8 trillion, or a growth of more than 21.7% over the previous year. Thus, the industry accounts for 6.1% of the global economy.
In addition, travel and tourism contributed 289 million jobs in 2021, up 6.7 percent over the previous year, adding more than 18.2 million new jobs in the sector.
In this sense, the world body continues to promote joint work between companies and authorities, urging governments to remove restrictions and allow international travel, using digital solutions that make it easier for tourists to travel quickly and safely.