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Thread: Caribbean Hoteliers buckle down for bad "peak season"

  1. #1
    SAINTSational Nica's Avatar Nica is offline
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    Caribbean Hoteliers buckle down for bad "peak season"

    Caribbean hotel bookings plunge as economy sags
    Sat Nov 8, 2008 12:34am IST Email | Print | Share| Single Page[-] Text [+] By John Marino

    SAN JUAN, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Hotel bookings in the Caribbean are plunging as financial turbulence dashes vacation plans, and hoteliers and governments are trying to ward off a deep slump by ramping up marketing efforts and slashing prices.

    The big cruise operators, whose ships ply the warm, azure waters of the Caribbean and upon which many islands depend, have also warned of a slowdown in bookings worldwide.

    The economic downturn following the global credit crunch -- and once-surging oil prices that increased air fares and prompted airlines to cut flights -- are already having an effect, with Caribbean hoteliers reporting drops of 30 percent to 50 percent in bookings.

    But the real pain will be felt during the winter high season, from Dec. 15 through April 15, when many vacationers flee the cold north for the Caribbean's sun-drenched beaches.

    "The forecast is for a bad winter," said Clarisa Jimenez, president of the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association.

    The United States accounts for 50 percent of the Caribbean tourism market, which attracts 22 million visitors and injects $21.6 billion into the island economies each year.

    Europe accounts for another 40 percent of the region's tourists, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

    Bookings are off from both major sources, the CTO

    In fact, the current economic problems will likely inflict greater harm on the region's main industry than the Sept. 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, said Winfield Griffith, CTO information and statistics director.

    "Tourism bounced back from 9/11 with remarkable speed. Two years after, we were back to pre-9/11 levels," Griffith said. "This promises to be a little more drawn out."

    Caribbean hotel bookings plunge as economy sags | Deals | Regulatory News | Reuters
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    Registered User marabunta is offline
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    Just wait until Obama normalizes with Cuba (now that they have oil)..........
    BBC NEWS | Americas | Cuba claims massive oil reserves

    .....and the $50 flights start leaving from the USA to Havana 5 times a day.

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