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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Pandemic-Impacted Caribbean Locations Are Seeing a Journey Rebound

Main tourism-reliant Caribbean locations are reporting steadily rising customer arrivals as accommodations reopen, flight service resumes and expands and international locations plan for the resumption of cruise exercise and new homeport agreements.

Authorities and tourism officers gathering for this week’s Caribbean Lodge and Tourism Affiliation’s digital Market occasion outlined the progress regional locations have made to steadiness the resumption of the well being and security of residents and guests with the necessity to resume essential tourism exercise.

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Most officers reported optimistic outcomes by way of traveler protocols and safeguards, in addition to the prospects for persevering with customer development as vaccinations enhance each amongst vacationers in addition to in Caribbean communities. Here’s a overview of the tourism image on a number of regional islands:

Jamaica

Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s minister of tourism, is projecting the nation will welcome 1.4 million mixed land-based and cruise ship guests in 2021. Whereas the quantity is a fraction of the file 4.3 million guests in 2019, it exceeds the 1.3 million vacationers hosted in 2020 throughout the peak of the outbreak.

Jamaica has moreover launched a vaccination program for its 170,000 tourism and hospitality employees, stated Bartlett. The initiative will “defend not solely our residents but in addition those that go to,” he stated.

Bartlett expects greater than half of all tourism employees to be absolutely vaccinated by this summer time. “The worldwide restoration rests on vaccinations to forestall transmission of the virus and to make everybody really feel protected,” he stated.

Bartlett stated the pandemic has not stalled the nation’s sweeping hospitality enlargement plans and that Jamaica will add 4,300 new lodge rooms by 2023 and seven,000 new rooms by 2025.


“The worldwide restoration rests on vaccinations to forestall transmission of the virus and to make everybody really feel protected.” – Edmund Bartlett (Picture by Brian Main)

The Bahamas

“Internationally, shoppers are able to journey once more,” stated Pleasure Jibrilu, director normal of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation. “Our insights point out there’s a enormous curiosity in Caribbean journey and particularly in journey to The Bahamas.”

She additionally identified the primary section of the vaccination marketing campaign has been in full swing over the previous couple of months and that the territory not too long ago adjusted its traveler protocols to ease restrictions for vaccinated vacationers.

Crystal Cruises and Royal Caribbean Worldwide will launch Bahamas-based cruise itineraries this summer time. “We welcome the return of cruising to our islands,” stated Jibrilu, who famous cruising accounts for over 70 p.c of Bahamas customer arrivals.

The itineraries will probably be supported by a $250 million redevelopment of Nassau’s cruise port, scheduled for completion by the summer time of 2022.

St. Maarten/St.Martin

“We’ve got progressively seen guests coming again to our shores,” stated Might Ling Chung, St. Maarten’s director of tourism. “We’re very lucky to have most of our carriers return. We even have some new flights and new airways.”

The routes embody new American Airways seasonal service from Dallas, including to the service’s present flights from Charlotte, Miami and Philadelphia, stated Chung. Frontier Airways can also be including new St. Maarten flights from Miami and Orlando. Delta, JetBlue, Spirit and United additionally provide flights to the vacation spot.

Starting June 5, St. Maarten will homeport ships from Superstar Cruises, whereas luxurious operator Crystal Cruises may even homeport a vessel in St. Maarten this summer time, with voyages starting in August. All passengers on the voyages will probably be vaccinated, Chung stated.

Many of the accommodations on the island’s Dutch and French sides have re-opened; the brand new Secrets and techniques Resort and Spa opened on April 1 in St. Martin.

“This tells you we now have the arrogance of not solely the vacationers, however our airways companions, that journey is coming again,” stated Chung. Sint Maarten’s “invisible” border between its French and Dutch sides is open to guests.


Cruise ships in St. Maarten.
St. Maarten will homeport cruise ships from Superstar Cruises and Crystal Cruises (Picture by Brian Main)

Turks & Caicos Islands

“Demand for the Turks & Caicos is up and we’re grateful for that,” stated Elisha Jennings, senior public relations officer for the Turks & Caicos Vacationer Board. American Airways will launch new nonstop flights from New York’s JFK Worldwide Airport in June, Jennings stated. JetBlue not too long ago added new Turks & Caicos flights from Newark.

On the cruise entrance, the Grand Turk Cruise Heart is tentatively scheduled to reopen in August, she added. “Our [COVID-19] positivity charge amongst our company is lower than one p.c, which signifies that a big majority of our company are in a position to come to the Turks & Caicos Islands and luxuriate in themselves with out vital worry of contracting the virus on island,” stated Jennings.

As well as, “Our native positivity charge is simply over three p.c so in comparison with different locations we’re in an excellent place,” she added. “Lots of our resorts on island have arrange COVID testing websites on-property.”

Jennings stated 51 p.c of Turks & Caicos residents have been vaccinated, and the federal government has set a objective of vaccinating 70 p.c of residents by July, after which the 11 p.m. curfew will probably be reviewed.

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U.S. Virgin Islands

“We’re transferring to a brand new plateau by way of vaccination. The group started the vaccination course of from January,” stated Alani Henneman-Todman, assistant commissioner on the U.S. Virgin Islands Division of Tourism.

“The territory was forward of most locations and we opened to most of the people as properly. It places us in an excellent place for the vacation spot to be forward of our companions by way of vaccination and returning for protected journey.”

The U.S. Virgin Islands’ airlinks are a number of the most intensive amongst Caribbean locations, offering the territory with the potential to rebound rapidly from pandemic closures, stated Henneman-Todman.

St. Thomas’ Cyril E. King Airport is served by nonstop flights from 13 U.S. cities together with San Juan, Puerto Rico. Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on sister island St. Croix hosts nonstop flights from 5 U.S. cities. “St. Croix’ flights are even stronger than they’ve been previous to the pandemic,” stated Henneman-Todman.

“With no cruise ships coming in, it’s the airlift that’s protecting us abreast within the pandemic,” she famous. No date has been set for a return of cruise ships to what previous to the pandemic was among the many Caribbean’s hottest cruise locations, Henneman-Todman stated.

Territory officers are working with CDC, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Affiliation (FCCA) and the Cruise Strains Worldwide Affiliation (CLIA) to make sure “the vacation spot has a plan in order that we will open to cruise passengers [and] welcome them again safely” when cruise calls resume, she stated.

Lodge occupancies are exhibiting slight month-to-month will increase, though key properties together with Caneel Bay, Carambola Seashore Resort, Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Seashore Resort and Sugar Bay Seashore Resort stay shuttered. In any other case, “we’re open to enterprise and open to journey,” stated Henneman-Todman.

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