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CHTA hails success of Third Annual Caribbean Travel Forum

CHTA
CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig addresses the CHTA Caribbean Travel Forum in Jamaica this week.

The third Caribbean Travel Forum, hosted by the CHTA, showcased the region’s tourism advancements and resilience.

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA – The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) declared the third annual Caribbean Travel Forum a resounding success. The event featured insightful presentations and high-level panel discussions that explored Caribbean tourism performance, emerging trends, and future industry prospects.

Nicola Madden-Greig, CHTA’s President, presented key insights from the joint ForwardKeys and CHTA Caribbean Trends Report, which provided a thorough analysis of the region’s performance and identified critical trends shaping the industry’s future.

The report highlights a significant milestone for Caribbean tourism, with international arrivals to surpass 2019 levels by an impressive 13% in the first half of 2024. Nevertheless, with the global reopening of destinations, especially in Asia, the Caribbean faces intensified competition for market share.

In terms of performance, Puerto Rico leads, followed by the Dominican Republic and Cancun. Mid-tier destinations like Belize and Curaçao also show notable growth, fueled by improved connectivity and rising demand from key markets.

CHTA honored destinations committed to resilience and sustainability

During the Forum, the CHTA honored destinations committed to resilience and sustainability with the Destination Resilience Awards. These awards recognize efforts aligned with the World Tourism Organization’s sustainable development goals, emphasizing collaborative approaches and innovative, needs-driven strategies to tackle climate change and broader sustainability challenges.

CHTA

Latia Duncombe, Director General of Tourism in The Bahamas (center), receives the Destination Resilience Award from CHTA Acting CEO and Director General Vanessa Ledesma (left) and CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig.

The Bahamas received the Category A Award for destinations with total stopover visitor arrivals greater than 500,000. The Abacos in The Bahamas have demonstrated remarkable resilience and a commitment to sustainable tourism post-Hurricane Dorian. Establishing the Abaco Stewardship Council marks a significant milestone, fostering collaboration among residents, businesses, NGOs and government agencies to promote sustainable tourism, cultural heritage preservation and community engagement.

St. Lucia received the Category B Award for destinations with total stopover visitor arrivals under 500,000. St. Lucia stands out with strategic initiatives and legislative frameworks under the Tourism Development Act of 2023, driven by collaborations among the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association, Ministry of Tourism, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, and Community Tourism Agency. Initiatives focused on sustainable legislation, marine conservation and women empowerment have enhanced St. Lucia’s socioeconomic development, highlighted by projects like the Rodney Bay City Centre, Saint Lucia Carnival, and the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival.

CHTA

Richard Moss, Senior Sales Manager of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, and Paul Collymore, President of the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association, accept Destination Resilience honors on behalf of St. Lucia from CHTA’s Nicola Madden-Greig and Vanessa Ledesma.

Recognizing the critical link between health and tourism, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) received the President’s Award for Caribbean Tourism Excellence for its outstanding contributions to the region’s health security. CARPHA’s pivotal role in safeguarding public health within the Caribbean tourism sector has been instrumental, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its comprehensive approach to health security includes rigorous health monitoring, prompt outbreak response, and extensive public health education campaigns.

CHTA applauded the efforts of The Bahamas, St. Lucia, and CARPHA in fostering a thriving, resilient, and sustainable tourism industry. Their exemplary initiatives demonstrate a robust commitment to creating a sustainable future for Caribbean tourism, benefiting local communities while preserving the region’s natural and cultural heritage.

As part of the Caribbean Travel Forum, CHTA launched the AI Guidebook, Caribbean Performance and Outlook, and the Caribbean Tourism Construction and Investment Survey Report. CHTA members can access these reports via the online community.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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