Caribbean Tourism Crawls Back

Sep 1, 2010

After taking a drubbing during the global crisis, Caribbean tourism is slowly coming back to life. However project finance is hard to get and generally more expensive.


by Taina Rosa

As North American consumers start to believe in economic recovery, more travelers are hitting the Caribbean, nudging hotel chains back into expansion mode. However, financing is still not widely available to hotel developers, and what is out there will cost more, say market participants.

 
“We are seeing more business coming this year. The economy in the US is doing better than last year and the Caribbean does better when the US economy improves,” says Salo Smaletz, regional vice president of development for InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG). IHG has 10 hotels in the Caribbean, including Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza franchises.

Tourist arrivals to the region this year are up 4.5% as of June compared to the corresponding period of 2009, according to JPMorgan. The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which promotes tourism in the region, says that between January and May, tourist arrivals rose...

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