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CNN Says Caribbean Is The Fastest-Growing Tourism Market In The World


ATLANTA — The Cable News Network (CNN) published an article today saying that the Caribbean is the fastest growing tourism market in the world.

CNN accounted for the increase by reporting that airlines have increased routes to the region and hotels have upgraded their properties here with deluxe accommodations.

“The Caribbean opened its arms to 7% more tourists last year, growth that was higher than every other region, and nearly double the 4.4% global average tourism growth in 2015, according to the World Tourism Organization,” CNN reported.

So why are more folks flocking to the tropics?

Mostly because more people have more money to play with now that the global economy is getting itself in order.

And because air capacity hit a well-timed growth spurt.

Jet Blue was the Caribbean’s biggest fan, adding flights from the U.S. to Curacao, Grenada and Barbados, with plans to open up flights from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas in August.

Delta increased air capacity to Belize and St. Croix, and Alitalia added flights from Milan to Antigua & Barbuda.

The super dollar helped encourage Americans to pack their flip-flops and sarongs for island getaways, with visits growing 6.3% to 14.3 million, or roughly half of all trips to the Caribbean last year.

Europe saw seven-year high growth with 4.2% more people taking their euros to the islands. Intra-Caribbean travel hit a high, too, as 11.4% more Caribbean travelers spent the year checking out neighboring countries.

Stats aside, Caribbean tourism is up because people just want to escape the general global disquietude.

“The Caribbean is considered a zone of tranquility; that is particularly appealing when there are issues overseas,” Hugh Riley, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, offered.

The region has also tapped into its air of romance.

“We suspect that declaring 2016 ‘The Year of Romance in the Caribbean’ has attracted some very favorable response,” Riley added.

Romance or otherwise, a sunny set of Caribbean countries is courting the world’s jetsetters.

Barbados, Cuba, Curaçao, Haiti, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago saw some of the greatest tourism growth in 2015, and Belize is coming into its own as a hotspot.

These seven isles are 2016’s “it” destinations, and where many will want to be next time they swap their desk for the beach.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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