Caribbean travel marketplace reveals a strong 2013
Last month, representatives of Caribbean tourism convened In Montego Bay, Jamaica, for the 2014 Caribbean Travel Marketplace, a trade show that brings together suppliers and buyers from around the world. There was a general feeling of optimism in the air, despite the economic hardships the region has faced over the last few years.
STR Global, a company providing analytics for the hotel industry, reported that in a year-over-year comparison, the Caribbean rose 2 percent in occupancy to 67.2 percent in 2013, and the average daily rate (ADR) was up 5.2 percent to $180.50. This was the highest percentage in both occupancy and ADR reported since 2008. Some suppliers reported even higher gains.
?Throughout the Caribbean in 2013, our average daily rate was up 10 percent,? said Tom Osborn, regional director of North American development with Best Western International, Inc. ?I haven?t seen an increase of this type in years.?
Apple Leisure Group
Alex Zozaya, CEO of Apple Leisure Group (Apple Vacations, AMResorts, Amstar DMC, Unlimited Vacation Club, Travel Impressions and CheapCaribbean.com) also agreed that 2013 showed strong growth.
?2013 was a great year, but in 2014 we?ll be even better at putting all of these things together,? said Zozaya. ?Synergy across the brands will increase charter flights, since all three companies (Apple, Travel Impressions, Cheap Caribbean) are selling airline seats.?
Zozaya also noted the 2013 debut of AMResorts? adults-only Breathless brand.
?Breathless is different from Secrets, our other adults-only brand,? explained Zozaya. ?Secrets has more of a romantic base, and while it?s not couples only, it has lots of honeymooners and guests celebrating anniversaries. At Breathless, it?s more about socializing and interaction. There?s more of a party atmosphere. We refer to Breathless as ?Las Vegas meets South Beach.??
Breathless Punta Cana opened in 2013. Agents can expect to see additional Breathless properties opening in Jamaica, Aruba, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos.
Jamaica Celebrates a Milestone
Jamaica also reported major success during the marketplace. The country was celebrating a recent milestone ? in 2013, the island hosted two million stopover visitors for the first time ever.
?Our room stock exceeds 30,000, which has been bolstered by the opening of several newly renovated properties in 2013,? said John Lynch, director of tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board. ?This resulted in the addition of approximately 800 rooms. Of that number, 238 were new additions with the recent opening of RIU?s adults-only RIU Palace in Montego Bay.?
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