The recently-concluded Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2013 saw an increase in pre-scheduled business meetings between buyer and supplier companies with 12,476 appointments scheduled in advance, representing 226 more appointments than the previous year, organisers said.
Another positive highlight from Caribbean Travel Marketplace is the increase in international buyer interest with 22 countries represented, an increase of four more countries over 2012, the Caribbean Travel and Tourism Association added.
Additionally, buyers from five new countries participated in the region’s premier marketing event including 15 companies from France, as well as delegates from Belgium, China, Ireland, Poland and Switzerland. The event also had six more companies register from Italy versus 2012.
“Tour operators and wholesalers are often the first to feel shifts in demand for vacation products,” said Richard J. Doumeng, president of the Caribbean Travel and Tourism Association. “If interest from buyers at Caribbean Travel Marketplace is any indication, things are definitely looking up for the region in 2013.”
Staged by the Caribbean Travel and Tourism Association in conjunction with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association and the Nassau/Paradise Island Promotion Board, Caribbean Travel Marketplace was held at the Atlantis, Paradise Island from 20 to 22 January.
The event afforded hotels and destinations of all sizes an opportunity to meet face-to-face with wholesalers selling Caribbean vacation travel over the course of two days of meetings.
Highlights of the two-day event were the festivities surrounding the retirement of Alec Sanguinetti, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s director general and CEO, who has 19 years in executive positions with the association and 52 years as one of the tourism industry’s top airline and hotel executives.