Barbados May Benefit From US-Cuban Travel After All
August 6, 2008 2 Comments
Barbados ranking ninth in long stay arrivals and tenth with cruise ship arrivals [onecaribbean.org] is set to receive a massive decline in its tourists arrivals from the US if US-Cuba travel plans restrictions are relaxed as vowed by presidential hopeful Barack Obama if elected. As for now those relaxed restrictions pertain only to Cuban Americans. However in the future if and when relaxed travel restrictions to Cuba are opened to all Americans, Barbados may well see a dramatic drop in tourists arrivals from the US market. Not to fear though.
According to an IMF study “Vacation Over: Implications for the Caribbean of Opening US Cuban Tourism” seems that on one hand removing the travel blockade of Cuba will hurt some Caribbean markets but overall the Caribbean will still benefit. Small islands like Barbados who could lose as much as 48,000 American tourists can still win 64,000 non-US tourists because of strong ties to Europeans countries. On the other hand a larger destination like Cancun in Mexico known for its dependency on American tourists stands to lose 614,000 tourists whilst only gaining 93,000 non-US tourists. Still the one Caribbean policy agreed upon by tourism officlas in the region has come at a most crucial time in our region’s tourism history. Marketers are looking outside traditional markets and are targeting countries like Mexico, Brazil, Russia and Eastern Europe. That will surely help compensate for any drop offs pertaining to Barbados.