Market Report, "Caribbean Tourism Report Q4 2015", published

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Wed Oct 21 2015

The ongoing economic uptick in the US will translate into rising departures to the Caribbean in 2015, with St Lucia, St Eustatius, the Cayman Islands and Cuba set to perform particularly well. We see particular opportunities in Cuba, with the US-Cuba diplomatic rapprochement boosting prospects for a relaxation of the bilateral tourist regime.

We forecast mixed fortunes for the Caribbean in 2015, with most islands seeing growth in tourist arrivals but a few registering declines. The latter include Barbados (0.6%), Bonaire (6.1%), the Dominican Republic (1.5%) and St Vincent (1.6%). We believe that these declines reflect the drop of 1.2% in arrivals from Europe in 2015, with these economies usually registering strong arrivals from Europe. However, overall the Caribbean will see a net increase in tourist arrivals in 2015, as improving consumer confidence in the US leads more US tourists to visit the region, compensating for the decline in the number of European tourists.

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The most significant developments seen over the coming quarter will be in Cuba, where engagement with the US is stepping up. At the end of 2014, US President Barack Obama announced an effective end to the embargo, eliminating the need to obtain special licences to visit Cuba, while authorising the sale of a range of exports meant to facilitate communication and strengthen civil society. While recreational tourism is still technically prohibited, the lack of close government scrutiny regarding travel to the island will result in many more Americans visiting Cuba; and we expect a more complete repeal of the travel ban to occur within the next several years. In the short term, a decision by the Obama administration to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism would be a highly positive signal for ongoing rapprochement between the two countries.

The Caribbean Tourism Report has been researched at source and features BMI Research's independent assessment and forecasts for tourist expenditure; government expenditure on tourism; passenger arrivals and departures by mode of transport, reason for travel, origin and destination; and the accommodation market.

BMI's Caribbean Tourism Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the Barbadian, Bahamian, Jamaican, Trinidadian, Dominican, Grenadian, Guyanese, Cuban, Haitian, Martiniquais, Bermudan, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Antiguan, Barbudan, Anguillan, Aruban, Kittitian, Caymanian, St. Lucian, Montserratian, Turks and Caicos Islands, Vincentian, Virgin Islands, British, Virgin Islands, U.S., Belizean, Dutch Antillean, Guadeloupe, Surinamese tourism industry.

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