September 13 2023  |  Industry News

ForwardKeys reports double-digit growth in the Caribbean in Q4, exceeding 2019 levels

By GTR Magazine Staff

Popular destinations like the Dominican Republic, the US Virgin Islands, and Curacao are expected to experience continued growth in international arrivals, with growth rates of 54%, 39%, and 31%, respectively

The latest air ticketing data analysis by ForwardKeys predicts significant growth in the Caribbean region for Q4 of this year. Popular destinations like the Dominican Republic, the US Virgin Islands, and Curacao are expected to experience continued growth in international arrivals, with growth rates of 54%, 39%, and 31%, respectively. In comparison to the same period in 2019, the overall Caribbean inbound travel is expected to increase by 15%.

While couples still make up the largest group size in the Caribbean at 43%, group travel (over 10 people) is making a comeback with a rebound of 39% compared to 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,” says Juan A. Gomez, Head of Market Intelligence at ForwardKeys.

The revival of Caribbean travel heavily relies on the USA and Canada; however, the European market remains key. The Dominican Republic stands out among its competitors due to its excellent connectivity with both intra and extra-regional airline carriers, which greatly contributes to its strong performance.

“Jamaica and the Bahamas have significant potential to boost their performance by improving long-haul connectivity with source markets in Europe,” adds Gomez.

The US and Canada make up most bookings to the region, with Canada being the top-growing origin market for premium cabin travelers, according to the data.

“Looking at the destinations visited by affluent travellers 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,” he says.

The US Virgin Islands, Martinique and Jamaica have seen the biggest growths in long stays over 14 nights at 25%, 24% and 15%, respectively.

The next origin source market to watch is Latin America, which represents 13% of all bookings, but is a region which is growing very fast, with bookings +65% ahead of 2019 levels.

“European origins have lost share due to reductions in capacity and thus a resultant rise in airfares, and the strength of the USA outbound market. On the other hand, opportunity arises from the growing connections out of LATAM to the Caribbean/

“Moreover, LATAM countries have been boosting capacity to the Caribbean. Colombia (+157%), Brazil (+187%), Mexico (+55%), and Peru (+13%) all are showing strong growths and audiences interested in a Caribbean holiday,” Gomez concludes.

REGION Americas

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