TORONTO — The Caribbean Tourism Organization is hopeful that positive first quarter results from the Canadian market will keep the destination on track for a strong 2014.
For the first quarter of the year the CTO reported 1.3 million Canadian visits to the islands, and a 3.3% increase year-to-date in total stayover visits. The Canadian market is also tracking 3% ahead of the U.S. market. “Canada is growing faster,” said CTO Chairman Beverly Nicholson-Doty at yesterday’s Caribbean Week press briefing in Toronto. In 2013 Canada’s increase in stayover visitors was a marginal 0.7%, after years of stellar growth.
Internationally the CTO is hoping for 3% growth for 2014, said Nicholson-Doty. REVPAR is up, and cruise arrivals have increased as well, by 2.3% for Q1.
The destination’s diversity is its strength, she adds. “There are such distinctions between the islands, and they make it such a rich place to visit again and again. We want people to see as many of our islands as possible.”
The CTO has made it a priority to market the islands as a region, and its primary portal – caribbeantravel.com – now has almost 800 hotels since launching in February 2013.