CHTA says virtual marketplace a ‘resounding success ‘


CHTA says virtual marketplace a ‘resounding success ‘

Vanessa Ledesma

MIAMI -The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is describing as a “resounding success” its first ever first virtual edition of the Caribbean Travel Marketplace.

“This virtual format allowed us to introduce the Caribbean to new buyers and travel advisors from over 20 markets that haven’t been able to attend in the past,” said Vanessa Ledesma, the CHTA Director General.

The CHTA, which hosts the marketplace, said more than 6,000 meetings were held over three days, giving buyers from 20 countries the chance to connect with suppliers representing more than 150 Caribbean hotels and tourism-related businesses.

 “We’re looking forward to continuing the momentum as we move the region’s hospitality sector forward together,” Ledesma added.

The CHTA said that the event, held May 11-14 was especially meaningful for Caribbean hospitality professionals who have been diligently working on enhancing their products from a health safety perspective.

“The past 15 months have been the ultimate test of our resiliency and our ability to bounce back,” CHTA President Pablo Torres said, adding “and bounce back is exactly what we are doing.”

Torres said that traveller interest in the Caribbean is surging.

“We are back and ready to open for business better than ever,” he said, later noting that the region has about 30,000 new hotel rooms in the planning and construction stage and is seeing a 10-per cent increase in its inventory.

“While the pandemic disrupted Caribbean tourism and the impact will be felt for years to come, “we believe the disruption will prove to be an interruption,” Torres said, adding that the Caribbean has been a world leader in managing COVID-19. “We need to be inspired by our own resiliency.”

The CHTA said that the market place conference platform and resources will be available online until June 30.