According to a recent analysis by airline ticket analysis firm ForwardKeys, the Caribbean is currently experiencing a tourism boom, with the region seeing double-digit growth rates compared to pre-pandemic levels.
The company expects “significant” growth in the Caribbean in the fourth quarter of this year, driven in particular by places like Curacao, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic.
International arrivals to the Dominican Republic are expected to increase 54% in the fourth quarter compared to the same time in 2019.
While Curacao and Turks & Caicos are up 31 and 29 percent, respectively, from pre-pandemic levels, the U.S. Virgin Islands is predicted to see a 39 percent increase in foreign arrivals compared to 2019.
Next on the list are Aruba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Puerto Rico and St. Maarten, which complete the regional lineup.
A look at the statistics shows that some destinations are experiencing growth in several areas. For example, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Martinique and Jamaica have seen the strongest growth in longer stays of more than 14 nights, with the U.S. Virgin Islands leading that growth with an impressive 25 percent.
According to the research, group travel is also on the rise, with a 39 percent increase from 2019.
“Group travel is rebounding the strongest in the Dominican Republic +100%, Sint Maarten +41%, and Aruba 39%. This is being driven by travelers from the USA, Canada, and the United Kingdom,” said Juan A. Gomez, Head of Market Intelligence at ForwardKeys.
Not surprisingly, the U.S. and Canada are the top two countries for flight bookings to the Caribbean, with Canada seeing the fastest increase in first-class cabins.
“Looking at the destinations visited by affluent travelers originating in Canada, we can see that they are mostly traveling to the Dominican Republic (+199%), Cuba (+114%) and Jamaica (+73%). And not only are more high-end travelers arriving from Canada, but they are also embarking on more stays of 14 nights or more (+75%) when traveling to the Caribbean, which opens the door to multi-destination trips,” Gomez said.