There’s no better time to join the region’s online training programme, says Carol Hay, Caribbean Tourism Organisation director of marketing

The travel industry has never seen such a plethora of innovation, digital and start-up techs. It’s a dynamic, ever-changing and ever-evolving industry that brings new destinations, products and services to our fingertips on a daily basis. While the Caribbean readily embraces all the tools and resources available to help bring tourists to the region, nothing beats that warm vibe you get when you land on our shores.

That’s why we made 2019 the Year of Festivals in the Caribbean – and it has been a fabulous year of rum and food, performing arts, world-class performers and cultural dynamos. This is what makes the Caribbean so different and another reason to send your customers here. Visitors have the opportunity to experience every facet of who we are and that’s why the Caribbean remains in demand for couples, families, singles and groups of friends.

Hotel choice

Recently, we have seen massive changes to our accommodation mix too. There’s greater choice with the addition of luxury boutique hotels, larger all-inclusives for families, villas, apartments, cottages and even the opportunity to stay with a local family and immerse yourself in Caribbean culture.

New properties include the 120-room S Hotel Jamaica, which opened its doors in February and has a laid-back level of urban sophistication and remains notably Jamaican. Another head-turner is Silversands Grenada, with its 43 suites and nine residential villas on Grand Anse Beach, while in Barbados, the 44-room all-inclusive adult-only boutique hotel Abidah by Accra opened its doors.

But development is not limited to hotels. Increasingly, visitors are realising that renting their own luxury yacht and sailing around the Caribbean with friends or extended family ranks high on many bucket lists!

Volunteer projects

For those wishing to donate their time or resources, voluntourism is also on the rise. Dominica offers packages for nature enthusiasts who want to explore the destination while contributing to the development of the island’s nature trails. The Sandals Foundation provides an opportunity for agents and their clients to support educational, environmental and community development across the Caribbean.

To help keep you all up to speed, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation works with 24 destinations, from small islands with populations of a little over 10,000 to larger mainland countries renowned for their lush jungles and exotic wildlife. Our destinations provide in-house and online training, roadshows, virtual fam trips and, of course, fams. There are lots of opportunities to visit us and you can use your experience to keep sending your customers back and become a real-life Caribbean travel guru yourself.

Caribbean Travel Guru is the name of our online training programme, which we are about to relaunch. By joining the programme you will gain access to a host of information – and you’ll know where the best training and product updates can be found, which will help you to sell the region to your customers.

And what better time to do so than during the Year of Festivals?