Caribbean destinations are experiencing growth, as per the "Tourism Outlook Analysis" by Mabrian. Between November 2023 and March 2024, the region will see a 15% increase in visitors from European and North American source markets. This increase is 31% higher than the numbers during the same pre-pandemic season.
The total number of direct seats scheduled for direct flights to Caribbean destinations from Europe and North America will be 13.84 million, up 15% from the previous year (12.01 million) and up 31% from the pre-pandemic number of 10.16 million.
In that order, the months with the most seats available are January, December, March, February, and November.
According to the data, Costa Rica, Cancun, and Jamaica are the top performers in terms of growth. Cuba, however, is the exception to this trend.
For the autumn-winter season, there has been a significant increase in the number of available seats in Costa Rica, which went from 1.21 million to 1.49 million, a 24% increase. Cancun and the Dominican Republic also saw an 18% increase, from 4.45 million seats to 5.24 million and 3.30 million seats to 3.89 million, respectively, for November 2023-March 2024. In the case of Jamaica, the number of seats scheduled for this winter is 1.71 million, which is a 10% increase compared to the previous year's 1.56 million. On the other hand, Cuba's growth is merely 1%, from 1.48 million seats to 1.49 million.
Cancun remains the most popular destination, and the United States and Canada are the markets responsible for its growth, with an increase of 18% and 32%, respectively. The Netherlands, Austria, and Sweden are smaller markets in Europe but are still 28%, 41%, and 30% below 2022 levels, respectively.
The Dominican Republic and Costa Rica have experienced growth of 22%, thanks to the United States and Canada. Jamaica has also seen an increase, but at a lower rate of 9% and 13%, respectively. However, Cuba's air connectivity growth is hindered by the United States market, which has decreased by 22% since 2022, whereas Russia has shown an increase of 230%.
According to experts, the total air traffic projection for the Caribbean destinations shows an increase in demand of 14% from the United States and Canada over the next six months. However, there will be a decrease of 2% from European countries such as Spain, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. On the other hand, Latin American countries, including Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, and Argentina, are expected to grow by 5%.
Among European countries, Costa Rica (+26%) and Jamaica (+34%) are the most preferred tourist destinations. In contrast, fewer tourists are expected to visit Cancun and Cuba in 2022, with a predicted decrease of 14% and 7%, respectively.
Costa Rica leads the Latin American growth forecast (+20%), followed by the Dominican Republic (+10%). There is no expected variation in Cuba, while Cancun is predicted to experience a decline of 9%.
Finally, the analysis suggests that the Caribbean region has become more competitive, as tourists must make fewer stopovers to reach their destination, except for Europeans traveling to Cancun.
Canadians have the smoothest travel experiences, particularly when traveling to the Dominican Republic, Cancun, and Jamaica. Similarly, British tourists have excellent access to Jamaica, making it a convenient destination without significant hassle.