The Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Hugh Riley, said today that the outlook for the sector for the year 2019 is "bright", with a sense of optimism, enthusiasm and much hope.
According to Riley, that optimism is due to the fact that in spite of the devastation caused by several hurricanes over the Caribbean in 2017, among them, Irma and María, in 2018 everything was reversed.
"We are very excited about our expectations, due to the incredible change we have seen in the destinations hardest hit by cyclones," he said.
Riley reaffirmed his optimism for the progress in which member countries and supporters of the CTO continue to progress steadily, maintaining the impetus they developed after the hurricane season in 2017 to keep the tourism sector in the area firm.
In view of this, Riley highlighted the reconstruction and reopening of accommodation, while the airports returned to operate on a regular basis with the return of some full-time airlines and the various services at the airports.
"All this helps to increase the number of visitors traveling, while positive messages and promotions in the market have activated the destinations that were not affected recording a continuous growth," said Riley.
Riley also said that the demand for international tourists "is strong" and that Caribbean residents "continue with their search plan to explore and enjoy the pleasures of neighboring countries."
Regarding the arrival of cruise ships, the official indicated that most of the ports affected by the hurricanes have already been repaired and that the number of these boats to the area has returned to normal.
Riley explained that the visit of cruise ships registered a growth of 13.7% from May to September and 17.1% in the third period of 2018.
Therefore, Riley said that the outlook for the sector for the year 2019 is "bright", so they hope to declare next year as "The year of festivals" in the Caribbean.
"Simply stated, the region has a rhythm that can not be replicated anywhere else in the world," he said.