In spite of several challenges, Caribbean tourism continues to grow

Published on : Tuesday, November 28, 2017

indexThe Jamaican Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said that despite the various challenges faced by the Caribbean for the first half of the year, the region has welcomed nearly a million more tourists compared to the same period last year.

 

“For the first six months of 2017, data compiled by the Caribbean Tourism Organization show that the region welcomed 16.6 million international tourists, or 800,000 more than in the first six months of 2016, constituting a growth rate of 5.2 per cent,” Bartlett said.

 

He added: “Despite the multi-faceted challenges confronting the region, Caribbean tourism continues to grow at record pace. The tourism sector in the region was able to overcome early projections of downturn in global tourism receipts for 2016 — amid volatility and uncertainty in main source markets such as the USA and parts of Europe owing to Brexit, the US presidential elections, and terror attacks in Brussels and in other European cities — to grow at an unprecedented rate of 4.2 per cent in 2016.”

 

Bartlett added that, this year, the resilience of the tourism sector in the region has already been tested with the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria, which affected 13 of the most tourism-dependent regions.

 

The places affected by the hurricanes include St. Martin, Anguilla, Dominica, Barbuda, St. Barts, the British Virgin Islands, the US Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

 

Bartlett said that he is hopeful about mapping a development path for the region.

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