This week Barbados hosted a successful 41st edition of Caribbean Travel Marketplace at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, welcoming 770 delegates from 50 countries, including buyers, media and potential investors from all around the world.

As part of the event, the second Caribbean Travel Forum also took place. Started last year, the forum's remit is to focus on the business of tourism in the Caribbean, and to discuss sustainability, intra-Caribbean travel, multi-destination marketing, the growing air demand and connectivity concerns, labour market constraints and taxation.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley delivered the keynote address, and the President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Nicola Madden-Greig gave her State of the Region and Industry address.

Travel Pulse summarised the main announcements for the Barbados travel and tourism industry:

  • By the end of the summer period, Barbados will recover 90 percent of the airline seats it had in 2019.
  • JetBlue will land an additional 12,500 seats in Barbados, as the airline will double the daily service from New York during the summer period.
  • Air Canada will add an additional 8,850 seats during the period May to October, and WestJet will commence twice weekly services from mid-July to October 2023.
  • Condor is returning to Barbados in the winter season with a bigger aircraft containing 310 seats.
  • The winter 2022/2023 cruise season saw a remarkable recovery of 86 percent when compared to pre-pandemic levels, and during the winter season (September 2022 to April 2023), the island received 360 calls and a total of 615,445 passengers.
  • Upcoming hotel developments include Wyndham Grand Resort (2023), Hotel Indigo (2024) and Pendry Hotels & Resorts (2026).

It was announced that next year's Caribbean Tourism Marketplace will be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in May 2024.