A study undertaken by Forward- Keys, a travel analytics firm, has revealed that despite the recent ravages of Hurricane Dorian and other huge storms in the Caribbean, tourism will continue to grow.
The results of the study were presented at a Caribbean Tourism Organizationorganised news conference at World Travel Market.
The study revealed that forward bookings for the winter season – November 1 to January 31, are currently 1.6 per cent ahead of where they were at the equivalent point last year.
Currently, bookings from the United States, the most important source market are 3.0 per cent behind but bookings from all the other major source markets, are ahead – France 9.8 per cent, the UK 0.9 per cent , Canada 8.2 per cent, Argentina 8.1 per cent and the rest of the world collectively 3.2 per cent. The current leader is the Netherlands, 42.1 per cent ahead. However, the outlook is not universally positive.
Forward bookings to the top destination in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic, are currently 14.2 per cent behind and those to The Bahamas and Aruba are 6.4 per cent and 1.4 per cent behind, respectively.
Encouraging growth is seen from Puerto Rico, 28.0 per cent ahead, but according to ForwardKeys that is really a recovery story, as tourism to the island was hit hard by Hurricane Maria in December 2017.
This season’s most devastating hurricane, Dorian, which came at the end of August and early September, ravaged the most northerly parts of The Bahamas but left other parts relatively undamaged.