Voices from Caribbean Marketplace

Industry leaders make predictions for the Caribbean’s coming year By: Mark Rogers
Wayne Cummings (left), president of Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, and Carl Beviere, general manager of Sandals Resorts // © 2011 Mark...
Wayne Cummings (left), president of Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, and Carl Beviere, general manager of Sandals Resorts // © 2011 Mark Rogers

The Details

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Caribbean Marketplace 2011 was held last month in Montego Bay, Jamaica. What follows are some voices and opinions from the event floor.

Josef Forstmayr, president of Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association
“Tourism and its ability to compete globally has, in all but a few Caribbean nations, become the essential provider of employment and national income and, by extension, a principal provider of taxes that pay for voter’s expectations of everything from education and health care to roads.”

John Lynch, director of tourism and chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board
“Jamaica is off to a good start in 2011. During the first 15 days of the year, we were up 14 percent in arrivals. This represents an increase of 10,000 people.”

Christian Maiel, regional director of sales Caribbean, AMResorts
 “The American market is not back totally, but we’ve seen positive signs in the luxury market, and groups are coming back.”

Wayne Cummings, president of Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association
“Things are looking up. Consumer confidence is on the upswing — which means everything to us.”

Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism
 “Jamaica’s casino dream will begin this year. Licenses will soon be issued. We hope construction will begin on at least one property this year.”

Bill Clegg, regional vice president, brand performance and programs, Choice Hotels International
 “Our guests are primarily those coming to the region for a second or third time.”

Will Rodgers, senior manager sales, Air Jamaica
“We’ll be looking at creating an air pass that will make inter-island travel more economical.”

Mark Jeffrey, regional vice president Florida and the Caribbean, Rock Resorts Florida and Caribbean Collection
 “My message to agents is don’t wait to book Rock Resorts. If you have a wait-and-see attitude, you won’t be able to fulfill guests’ requests.”

Alec Sanguinetti director general and CEO of Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association
“We do not have a low-cost carrier in the Caribbean. There are carriers willing to invest, but they are thwarted by bureaucratic hurdles.”
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