Comfort Suites Paradise Island's Shan Sands and Jamal Glover discuss business with a potential buyer in the Bahamas last month.
Silver Spring, Maryland - The Caribbean should have a good year in tourism, stated a hotel
executive, who pointed to the encouraging outlook from delegates attending last
month's Caribbean Travel Marketplace in the Bahamas.
Bill Clegg, Regional Vice
President, Brand Performance and Programs for Choice Hotels International,
reported the landmark travel event - produced by the Caribbean Hotel and
Tourism Association (CHTA) - featured upbeat "match making"
opportunities for hotels, tourism attractions, tour operators and travel
partners throughout the region and the marketplace.
"As we (Choice Hotels
International) execute our marketing strategy and renew our commitment to
product and brand performance in the Caribbean this year, we are especially
buoyed by the sentiment emerging from stakeholders about a part of the region
we at Choice Hotels hold dear," said Clegg.
Choice Hotels, one of the world's
largest hotel franchisors, is the franchisor for eight hotels in the Caribbean
islands of the Bahamas, Curaçao, Grand Cayman and Puerto Rico, and this year
expects to add at least three new destinations to its regional roster.
Clegg, who is also Regional Vice
President of CHTA's Board of Directors and Chairman of the Membership Standing
Committee, said his optimism about the Caribbean was corroborated by a recent
statement from Chairman of the Caribbean
Tourism Organization (CTO) Beverly Nicholson-Doty of the United States Virgin
"The state of Caribbean
tourism gives us reason to be optimistic. This optimism is based on the
positive signs of growth following earlier down years. We are optimistic
because we see arrival numbers rising, particularly out of North America; we
see hotel revenues moving in the right direction, albeit with moderate
acceleration and we see tourist spend on the increase," she reported.
"All the signs suggest
Caribbean tourism is rallying," the newly elected chairman noted. The
Caribbean region as a whole has regained ground lost from the heat of the
global economic depression in 2008-2009, she stated.
According to the CTO, the
Caribbean welcomed nearly 25 million tourists last year, 5.4 percent more than
in 2011 and the largest number of stay over visitors in five years. This rate
of growth outpaced the rest of the world which saw arrivals increase by four
Barring any unforeseen
international or regional economic or social trauma in 2013, the indicators of
Caribbean tourism performance should continue to move in a positive direction
with visitor traffic to the region expected to increase by another four per cent
to five per cent in 2013.
"These are very encouraging
statistics," said Clegg, who pledged Choice will play its part in helping
grow the regional tourism pie this year.
For further information about
Choice Hotels, visit www.choicehotels.com.
About Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels International, Inc.
franchises approximately 6,200 hotels, representing more than 495,000 rooms, in
the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories. As of September 30, 2012, 360 hotels,
representing 29,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting conversion or
approved for development in the United States. Additionally, 75 hotels,
representing approximately 7,000 rooms, were under construction, awaiting
conversion or approved for development in more than 20 other countries and
The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites,
Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended
Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands, as well as its Ascend Hotel
Collection membership program, serve guests worldwide.
Additional corporate information
may be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. website, which may be
accessed at www.choicehotels.com.