December 10, 2023

NOTED BY BEVAN SPRINGER – MAY 7, 2023 Caribbean Travel Marketplace: More than meetings

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Associations (CHTA) 41st Caribbean Travel Marketplace is set to take place in Barbados over the next few days, and as someone who is deeply invested in the Caribbean tourism sector, I couldn’t be more excited to be “back home” for this event. 

For many of us who work in Caribbean tourism, travel and hospitality, the past few years have been challenging. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the industry, with travel restrictions, border closures, and reduced demand for travel leading to decreased revenues and job losses across the region.

But despite these difficulties, the region has bounced back vibrantly and there is a sense of optimism and hope in the air to maintain the momentum (notwithstanding varying challenges on the horizon) as we come together in Barbados for the conference. 

This is an incredible opportunity to meet with like-minded colleagues who are working in the tourism sector to help drive the economic engine of the Caribbean region.

One of the highlights of the conference will be the second annual Caribbean Travel Forum, being held at Sandals Royal Barbados on Tuesday where discussions will focus on leveraging tourism for wealth creation, which is a critical topic for the region. With tourism being one of the main sources of revenue for most Caribbean nations and territories, it is essential that we find ways to maximize the benefits of the industry and reduce the leakages that often occur.

During the forum, I’m looking forward to hearing from some of the most innovative minds in the industry as they share their insights and experiences on how we can create linkages — rather than generate leakages — in the Caribbean tourism sector. It promises to be a provocative and stimulating discussion.

The conference also provides an opportunity for the region’s varied and diverse suppliers to ink deals with buyers during the Marketplace meetings. This B2B exchange is a major component of the gathering.

But CTM 41 is about much more than just making deals. It’s an opportunity for destinations, hoteliers and attractions to tell their unique stories to top local, regional, and international media who are in attendance. As a meetings locale and vacation paradise, Barbados itself has an incredible platform to showcase all that it has to offer travelers.

It’s an honor to be a part of the Caribbean tourism community, and as we assemble for a historic Marketplace, I’m confident that we will emerge with new ideas, insights and solutions that will help to strengthen and sustain the industry for years to come. Here’s to a successful and fruitful conference!

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