Country Director for CALA, Lucas Cadavid, represented SB Architects at the 2022 Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS).
As the leading authority on hotel investment for the Caribbean, the conference provided incredible insight into the region’s hospitality industry. Here are Lucas’ key takeaways:
The Caribbean and Latin America continue to lead the summer outlook. According to sir ticket data from ForwardKeys, Costa Rica is one of the best performing destinations based on international arrivals compared with 2019. Aruba follows in second and Jamaica third.
Five countries have proven resilient in the Caribbean, based on international arrivals in 2022, compared to 2019: US Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Curacao.
The crisis hit tourism-dependent economies the hardest, though recovery has been faster.
Occupancy rates in the Caribbean have stayed relatively high, as of March 2022, Turks & Caicos is at 81%, Puerto Rico at 80.3%, USVI at 79.9%, Bahamas at 75.3%, and Barbados at 73.7%.
Back to Business
Business transient travel is making a comeback because of “blended trips” according to Anthony Capuano, Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International.
There was lots of discussion/brainstorming around ways that the Caribbean can boost tourism. Henry Mooney and Maria Alejandra Zegarra published a thought leadership paper, delving deeper, they suggested:
- Actively seek to attract the new “digital nomads”, who have proliferated after the pandemic
- Expand the value chains that serve the final product: agriculture, food, cultural services, etc.
- Diversify the tourist service offer (e.g., ecological tourism, cultural tourism)
- Create or expand “quasi-tourism” services: tertiary education and long stay (half a year or more) for retirees.