1.3 million Caribbean air visitors in Q1

The
Caribbean received 1.3 million stay-over visitors from the United States in the
first quarter of 2010, according to reports.

The
figures were released by the Office of Travel & Tourism Industry in the
United States and noted that 503,610 had travelled by air to the Caribbean in
March alone. That marked an 11 per cent increase over 2009’s figures on a
direct year-on-year comparison.

The
largest market for outbound United States traffic was Europe, which received
2.1 million visitors by air in January to March. Mexico recorded a smidgin
under 1.4 million visitors, boosting their statistics just ahead of the
Caribbean.

Hotel recovery

Meanwhile,
the US hotel industry is beginning to recover due to increased demand in the
luxury sector, according to analysts.

Smith
Travel Research’s latest forecast update for the United States sector said that
there would be increases in occupancy and revenue per available room this year.
Occupancy will rise by 3.6 per cent to 56.7 per cent, said the industry body,
with revenue per available room increasing by 3 per cent to US$55.13. A third
measurement, average daily rate, will decrease slightly, by 0.6 per cent, to
$97.26.

The
research company is predicting a stronger showing for 2011. It says occupancy
will rise by 2.5 per cent, average daily rate will break the $100 barrier,
going up by 3.9 per cent to $101.05 and revenue per available room is mooted to
increase to $58.70, a 6.5 per cent rise.

Demand
is expected to be up by 2 per cent in 2010 and 5.7 per cent the following year.
This increase in demand but decline or flattening of average daily rate was a
sign of a fragile recovery, said the report.

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