Caribbean Tourism Poised for Growth: ASTA Executives Optimistic About 2024 Travel Prospects

Antigua Dream Caribbean Destinations

North American Travel Advisors are showing strong confidence in the Caribbean’s potential for robust travel in 2024. This sentiment was echoed during a recent meeting of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) Board members and Chapter Presidents from all 50 U.S. states, held at the Sandals Grande Antigua Resort.

ASTA President and CEO Zane Kirby highlighted the significant influence of millennials in the travel sector. He noted that millennials, who are now a large part of the U.S. workforce, prioritize travel over other expenses, including housing. This trend is seen as a positive indicator for the Caribbean’s tourism industry.

Kirby also pointed out that despite the availability of online booking options, many travelers still rely on travel advisors for their expertise and personal experience. He stressed that firsthand knowledge of destinations like Antigua and other Caribbean islands makes it easier for travel advisors to recommend and sell these locations to clients.

Antigua’s Tourism Minister, Charles Henry Fernandez, acknowledged the competition from global destinations but commended Sandals Resorts for its role in enhancing the Caribbean’s visibility. He emphasized the importance of the U.S. market and ASTA’s role in driving tourism to the region.

Gary Sadler, Executive Vice President of Sales and Industry Relations at Unique Vacations, the marketing partner for Sandals Resorts, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to ASTA and travel advisors. He emphasized that hosting travel advisors at Sandals resorts across the Caribbean is crucial for them to truly appreciate the region’s appeal.

Sadler thanked the travel advisors for their role in keeping the regional tourism sector vibrant and growing. He mentioned Sandals Resorts’ ongoing investment in expanding and introducing new destinations across the Caribbean, which provides travel advisors with more options to offer their clients.

The event underscored the importance of the relationship between the Caribbean’s tourism sector and North American travel advisors. The upcoming ASTA Caribbean Showcase at Sandals Royal Curacao later this year is highly anticipated as a continuation of

this collaboration, further bolstering the growth and vibrancy of Caribbean tourism. This showcase will provide an additional platform for travel advisors to gain deeper insights into the region’s offerings, enhancing their ability to promote Caribbean destinations effectively.

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