PRESS RELEASE – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) today launched its UK and European Travel Industry Trends & Insight Report 2015, produced in conjunction with the travel trade publication, TTG.
For the second year running the CTO has produced this report to give members and wider travel industry partners a unique insight into the key issues affecting the industry and a snapshot on developments within the Caribbean itself.
It was launched by CTO chairman Richard Sealy before an audience that included ministers and directors of tourism from the Caribbean, as well as key industry representatives attending World Travel Market (WTM).
Carol Hay, director of the Caribbean Tourism Organization said: “We are delighted to have produced this report once again and hope our partners, members and ministers find it a useful tool, particularly during the next few days at World Travel Market. Overall the picture for the Caribbean is a positive one, with an increase in visitor arrivals in the past year, however we need to be aware of universal issues that are affecting the travel industry as a whole such as currency exchange, oil prices and of course safety.”
Key findings from the report include:
• The Caribbean was one of the best performing regions in the first six months of this year with visitor arrivals up 5.8 compared to a 4 per cent rise in international tourism arrivals
• The region attracted a record-setting 26.3 million tourists in 2014, which was on the back of the previous record of 25 million in 2013. Last year’s visitors contributed a total of $29.2 billion to Caribbean economies, about a third of the region’s GDP
• Destinations with the biggest year-on-year percentage increase in visitor numbers
o Cuba: +16.9% (2.2 million visitors)
o Aruba: +15.8% (680,000)
o Trinidad & Tobago: +8.5% (265,000)
o Dominican Republic +7.6% (3.4 million)
o US Virgin Islands: +6.8% (514,000)
• As for potential growth in 2016, the International Monetary Fund is currently predicting that the world’s GDP will rise by 3.8% with a continued pick-up in the advanced world economies where it is predicting a 2.4% year-on-year rise in GDP
• The UK economy is still predicted to grow. The main risks to attaining this level of economic growth are “increased market volatility” including Greece’s on-going financial problems, and “economic distress” from geopolitical factors.
• The number of multi-millionaires in Europe will continue to be higher than anywhere else in the world with around 76,000 individuals across the continent
• Online sales accounted for 66% of all global travel bookings in 2014 which was a seven point rise on previous years. Bookings at traditional travel agents have stabilised at around 24% of the total market
• 74% of all holidaymakers consider free Wi-Fi in the hotel room an important factor when booking a hotel room compared to 60% of travellers wanting a free breakfast
• The “sharing economy” continues to grow. Airbnb books 37 million room nights per year, which could rise to 129 million per annum by the end of 2016, surpassing all the major hotel chains
• Sustainable tourism continues to grow and there is more informed conversation around tourism impact management and the importance of this for achieving sustainable tourism. The Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) gives support to tourism businesses to develop in a sustainable manner.