Several factors had a negative impact on certain areas of travel and tourism, limiting growth in 2015. Some of the key source markets were affected by weak economic conditions. Other source markets did not perform as well due to external factors, such as health warnings due to the Zika virus as the country was included on a warning list. Limited promotion of the country as a tourism destination also placed pressure on results, especially given the high levels of competitiveness from other islands in the area.
Intermediaries have a strong online presence. Many intermediaries offer their services online, with the possibility to book and purchase electronically. In addition, other tourism players are also increasingly available online, with a presence in social media and with their own websites.
In an effort to increase tourism from Latin America, especially South America, authorities, in a joint venture with Brazilian Gol Airlines, launched a weekly flight to Brazil. The new flight could bring good opportunities for the development of arrivals from South America.
There is some information to indicate possible positive company activities may happen over the forecast period. The major local airline could merge or acquire another Caribbean player, or join the Star Alliance. This could mean important opportunities for the country as it would increase connectivity with additional markets and quite possibly lead to a decline in airline fares, which could result in higher volume performance.
Over the forecast period arrivals are set to continue to grow, thereby positively impacting the performance of the overall tourism market. Promotion of the country among new markets which are currently not key source countries could yield positive results, especially if the country improves its positioning in these markets. Connectivity will remain an important issue for the country to increase tourism, both for arrivals as well as travel between the islands.
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