The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is reporting that registration for the highly anticipated 40th edition of Caribbean Travel Marketplace is outpacing expectations as regional suppliers and global buyers prepare for a return to in-person business development activities in the Caribbean next week.
Hosted in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from October 3 to 5 this year, Caribbean Travel Marketplace Chair Karen Whitt reported that systems are “gearing up beautifully” for the upcoming meeting, mirroring the surging traveler demand for visiting Caribbean destinations. “The Caribbean is still one of the world’s most desirable destinations and we are looking forward to the convergence of buyers and sellers of Caribbean tourism to advance the region’s recovery,” she stated.
ForwardKeys, CHTA’s data partner, recently reported that the Caribbean and Latin America are leading the summer outlook in terms of the return of leisure travel, noting that five destinations – Aruba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Mexico and The Bahamas – are among the “most resilient” based on confirmed arrivals for the summer.
Whitt, who is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Hartling Group in Turks and Caicos, reported while CHTA prepares for the spectacular showcase of the region’s offerings, buyers from 14 countries and suppliers from 21 countries and territories have confirmed their participation to date.
“We have focused on attracting buyers from new locations, and they are delighted to attend an event where all of the Caribbean will be in one location,” said Whitt, who explained that buyers of MICE [Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions] and destination wedding experiences have also confirmed their participation.
Conference goers will meet buyers from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Poland, Puerto Rico, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Suppliers have so far registered from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Martin, Turks and Caicos Islands, the United States, and the United States Virgin Islands.
Whitt shared that CHTA is already in the planning phase for the 2023 edition of Marketplace, which is expected to be held in the second quarter or later, and stated that the distinct buzz the trade association is witnessing this year is undoubtedly due to the pent-up demand for in-person, face-to-face interaction among buyers and sellers and consumer demand for travel experiences after two years of pandemic-related isolation and lockdowns.