ForwardKeys, a leading travel intelligence partner, and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) have joined forces to author an in-depth report on the state of Caribbean tourism.

The report, unveiled at the Caribbean Travel Forum held in Montego Bay, Jamaica on Monday, offers a comprehensive analysis of the region’s performance and highlights critical trends shaping the industry’s future. The report reveals remarkable growth in the Caribbean, with international arrivals surpassing 2019 levels by an impressive 13% in the first half of 2024.

However, as more destinations reopen worldwide, particularly in Asia, the region faces increasing competition for market share. Key findings include the identification of top-performing destinations for the first half of 2024. Puerto Rico leads the way, followed by the Dominican Republic and Cancun in the Mexican Caribbean.

Mid-tier destinations such as Belize and Curaçao also exhibit impressive growth, driven by increased connectivity and demand from key source markets. In addition to overall performance, the report delves into specific market segments, including business travel, family vacations, and high-yield visitors.

Though business travel lags behind leisure, destinations such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and the Dominican Republic show substantial growth in this segment. Family travel is also rising significantly, with Curaçao, Belize and Aruba leading the way. Premium class travel, catering to luxury travellers, outperforms standard class bookings, presenting a valuable opportunity for Caribbean destinations to target this lucrative market.

Olivier Ponti, Director of Intelligence and Marketing at ForwardKeys, commented: “As the Caribbean seeks to build on its success in the global tourism recovery, a data-based approach to destination promotion and management will be foundational for a sustainable, resilient and profitable future for the region’s tourism sector.”

CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig added: “To succeed in this new world, Caribbean hospitality and tourism businesses must harness data and technology to understand and anticipate shifting traveller needs.

“Working in partnership with travel intelligence leaders such as ForwardKeys equips our industry with the insights required to identify and target high-potential customer segments, optimize marketing strategies, and drive sustainable growth.” The CHTA-ForwardKeys report underscores the importance of data-driven insights in navigating the complex post-pandemic travel landscape.

By leveraging ForwardKeys’ advanced analytics and actionable insights, Caribbean destinations can effectively adapt their strategies, capitalize on emerging opportunities, and maintain their competitive edge in the global tourism market.