The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) holds its annual Caribbean Travel Marketplace this week, Jan. 21 through 23, at Atlantis, Paradise Island.

Following the standard format of past Marketplace events, tourism suppliers will meet one-on-one with wholesalers in scheduled appointment slots, which in 2015 totaled 11,888 meetings over the two-day period between 272 suppliers from 29 Caribbean countries and 102 buyers.

In addition to operators from the U.S., Europe and other regions, the CHTA is targeting wholesalers in Latin America and niche operators in emerging destinations, including Russia, Scandinavia, Ukraine and the Middle East.

“We look forward to introducing new tour operators to our region’s diverse hospitality product,” said Karolin Troubetzkoy, the CHTA's acting president.

Educational sessions will focus on maximizing revenue from romance, which ties into the Year of Romance theme recently launched by the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Other topics include effective channel management, optimizing website content and online reputation management.

“Events like these educational sessions present excellent opportunities for our members to keep up on best practices and trends, which can make them more competitive, “ Troubetzkoy pointed out in a New Year’s message to members.

She added that much remains much to be done to be competitive on an international scale, citing high cost and frequency of airlift, which prevents many Caribbean destinations from realizing their full potential.

“Energy and operational costs are among the highest globally and contain to drain profits; the perceived safety and security of our destinations must be a high priority by all public and private stakeholders; and we must challenge ourselves as to whether we are getting the best return on our marketing dollars,” she said.


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