FAJARDO, Puerto Rico -- The future of Caribbean tourism and the new
face of the North American marketplace -- altered by the economy,
the aftermath of Sept. 11 and new consumer behavior -- are the hot
topics at this year's Caribbean Hotel Industry Marketplace at the
Wyndham El Conquistador Resort & Country Club taking place here
through June 19.
According to a study conducted by Yesawich, Pepperdine &
Brown, the biggest growth markets in the tourism industry today are
travel with children and niche markets, such as ecotourism,
weddings, dive, minorities, reunions, golf and handicapped
Peter Yesawich, chief executive officer of YPB, said price and
value drive today's consumers' travel decisions as well.
In a flurry of statistics, Yesawich reported that 53% of today's
consumers use the Net to plan or purchase travel and that 59% plan
to vacation close to home this year.
In other news:
• The Barbados Tourism Authority's Best of Barbados summer
promotion is offered by 30 U.S. wholesalers. The seven-night plan,
valid at 45 hotels through Dec. 14, includes discounted air, hotel
accommodations with breakfast and a free day's use of a car when
three days are paid. Starting rate is $585 per person. For more
information, see Barbados running incentives ads.
A $2.3 million ad campaign, running through June and from
mid-August to mid-October in key Northeast and Florida markets,
will keep Barbados "top of mind," said Bill Silvermintz, BTA's vice
president of marketing.
• Puerto Rico will launch a summer consumer and trade promotion
this month with discounted rates and value-added components.
Details are forthcoming.
• Nevis opens a new air terminal July 5 and will complete an
islandwide road upgrade by the end of July. Meanwhile, Montpelier
Plantation Inn, recently sold, will be closed from the end of July
through Oct. 12 to renovate and upgrade.
• The new Caribbean Hotel Association president for the
2002-2004 term is Simon Suarez, executive vice president of Coral
Hotels and Resorts in the Dominican Republic.