The first things to go when there is an economic slow down are the luxuries. One such luxury to Americans are vacations abroad. Thus with the soaring fuel costs and a worrisome US economy, the Caribbean tourism waits in the balance to see the effects of high ticket prices and reduced airline flight. The result will be a decline in tourism to the Caribbean. The second thing to remember is discounted hotel rates to meet hotel occupancy standards mean that occupancy rates are no longer comparable from year to year.
Expensive jet fuel and a soft American economy are threatening to sink Caribbean tourism as airline ticket prices soar and flights are sharply reduced, choking the flow of the vacationers that many tiny islands depend upon.
Tourism is the economic cornerstone of the Caribbean, which drew more than 15 million visitors last year to colonial cities and carefree beaches.
”Billions of dollars of investment are being exposed and thousands of jobs are being exposed,” said Allen Chastanet, chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
American now expects to cut daily flights out of Puerto Rico’s capital from 93 to 51 in September. Some flights will be cut to Santo Domingo, Antigua, St. Maarten, Aruba and Samana in the Dominican Republic, spokeswoman Minnette Velez said.
Fewer flights to Puerto Rico also could jeopardize the island’s cruise ship industry, since it would be harder for passengers to reach the island to board.
The Caribbean is particularly vulnerable because one floundering airline, American, controls much of the market – carrying more than 60 percent of passengers traveling through Puerto Rico last year.
American now expects to cut daily flights out of Puerto Rico’s capital from 93 to 51 in September.
Aruba never used to be considered a “budget travel” destination. Remember that change of travel type when the ATA and AHATA report tourism numbers and discuss hotel occupancy increases. Not all occupancy increases are created equal. Especially when the rooms are being so discounted in order to fill them.