The Dominican Republic tops the list of countries in traveler recovery according to Forwardkeys’ forecast of growth in the Caribbean region for the fourth quarter of 2023.
Forwardkeys’ latest analysis of airline ticket sales data indicates that popular destinations such as the Dominican Republic, U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands are
such as the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Curaçao are expected to
and Curaçao are expected to experience continued growth in international arrivals, with growth rates of 54%, 39% and 31%, respectively.
This data compared to the same period in 2019, augurs for total travel to the Caribbean to increase by 15%.
The publication indicates that while couples continue to make up the largest group in the Caribbean at 43%, group travel (more than 10 people) is making a comeback with a 39% rebound compared to 2019.
“Group travel is rebounding strongest in the Dominican Republic +100%, St. Maarten +41% and Aruba 39%.
This is being driven by travelers from the US, Canada and the UK,” says Juan A. Gomez, Head of Market Intelligence at ForwardKeys.
The revival of travel to the Caribbean is largely dependent on the U.S. and Canada, however
United States and Canada; however, the European market remains key.
He highlights that the Dominican Republic stands out among its competitors for its excellent intra- and extra-regional airline connectivity, which contributes greatly to its strong performance.
“Jamaica and the Bahamas have significant potential to improve their performance by improving long-haul connectivity with outbound markets in Europe,” adds Gomez.
The United States and Canada account for the majority of bookings to the region, with Canada being the fastest growing source market for premium cabin travelers, according to ForwardKeys’ latest airline ticketing data.
“Looking at the destinations visited by affluent travelers originating from Canada, we can see that they travel primarily to the Dominican Republic (+199%), Cuba (+114%) and Jamaica (+73%). And not only are more high-end travelers coming from Canada, but they are also making more stays of 14 nights or more (+75%) when traveling to the Caribbean, which opens the door to multi-destination travel,” said Gomez.
The U.S. Virgin Islands, Martinique and Jamaica have experienced the strongest growth in long stays of 14+ nights, up 25%, 24% and 15% respectively.
They highlight that the next source market to watch out for is Latin America, which accounts for 13% of all bookings, but is a region that is growing very fast, with bookings 65% above 2019 levels.
“Europeans have lost share due to capacity reductions and, therefore, the resulting increase in fares
airfares, and the strength of the U.S. outbound market. On the other hand, opportunities arise from growing connections from Latin America to the Caribbean,” says Juan A. Gomez.
“In addition, Latin American countries have been increasing capacity to the Caribbean. Colombia (+157%), Brazil (+187%), Mexico (+55%) and Peru (+13%) are showing strong growth and audiences interested in a Caribbean vacation,” he adds.
It seems that many travelers are looking for some warm sunshine in the Caribbean this fall, and islands with better air connections can expect an increase in tourism and hospitality.