Frank Comito, CHTA’s CEO and Director General, spoke at Interval International’s International Shared Ownership Investment Conference at the Eden Roc in Miami Beach. While admitting that the sector was facing some challenges, he said it was still poised to continue on a path of growth.
“This year has been a mixed bag. But our stopover arrivals are on pace to top a record 30 million in 2016. Twenty-one destinations out of 32 are up [increase in arrivals] for the year, and the CTO [Caribbean Tourism Organization] is projecting anywhere between a 4.5 per cent and six per cent increase in arrivals in 2016,” said Comito.
The Caribbean had welcomed 29 million stopover visitors, who spent US$30 billion — a 4.2 per cent increase over the previous year. Comito gave several reasons for the upsurge in tourist arrivals last year. Among them was improvements in the global economy, fall in oil prices, additional airlifts and additional marketing focus.
“We had a great year last year, 2015. In fact, it was our best year, in terms of arrivals. We had 29 million stopover arrivals… it was our sixth consecutive year of growth. We saw upticks, for example, from Canada and the UK,” he said.