Tou­rists on a quest for ot­her culture

CUL­TU­RAL PATTERNS ARE THE MAIN REASON FOR BRI­TONS TO CHOOSE DES­TI­NA­TIONS WHE­RE THEY CAN EN­JOY A SUNNY AND RE­LA­XING ATMOSPHERE, AS WELL AS EXPERIENCING “A DIFFERENT CULTURE”

Excelencias Turísticas del caribe y las Américas - - Reportaje / Report -

The United Kingdom is one of the globe's lar­gest out­bound tra­vel mar­kets, hol­ding on to the fourth or fifth pla­ce world­wi­de for se­ve­ral years, both in terms of its vi­si­tor vo­lu­me and to­tal spen­ding. It is the se­cond big­gest out­bound mar­ket in the Eu­ro­pean Union, trai­ling just behind Ger­many.

The en­joy­ment of their an­nual va­ca­tion is by far one of the main ways that cha­rac­te­ri­zes the use of spa­re ti­me among UK re­si­dents. The ge­ne­ral trend has led to the frag­men­ta­tion of the­se in­to two or mo­re pe­riods du­ring the year.

In se­lec­ting the des­ti­na­tion for their va­ca­tions, in­co­me le­vel plays a ma­jor ro­le. In this sen­se, fa­mi­lies be­low-ave­ra­ge in­co­mes are li­ke­lier to spend their ho­li­days in their own country, so stay­ca­tion le­vels are hig­her in Wa­les, Nort­hern Ire­land and the North East. The greater the fa­mily in­co­me, the mo­re in­ter­est the­re is for va­ca­tions out­si­de the country. This is par­ti­cu­larly sig­ni­fi­cant in the Lon­don, East and South East re­gions.

In 2017, Brits ma­de 72.8 mi­llion vi­sits over­seas, which ac­coun­ted for 3 per­cent up­tick over the pre­vious year.

The main tra­vel des­ti­na­tions for the Bri­tish are Eu­ro­pe and Ame­ri­ca. Des­ti­na­tions in La­tin Ame­ri­ca and the Ca­rib­bean are tra­di­tio­nally po­pu­lar for pac­ka­ge travelers, whi­le in­de­pen­dent travelers vi­sit mostly the United Sta­tes and Ca­na­da.

The trend­set­ter hin­ges on ta­king two or mo­re va­ca­tions a year, plus a few mo­re days for short es­ca­pa­des. The long-haul mar­ket al­so shows a dra­ma­tic growth, par­ti­cu­larly with the in­crea­se in low-cost flights to me­dium- and long-haul des­ti­na­tions.

THE EN­JOY­MENT OF THEIR AN­NUAL VA­CA­TION

IS BY FAR ONE OF THE MAIN WAYS THAT CHA­RAC­TE­RI­ZES THE USE OF SPA­RE TI­ME AMONG UK RE­SI­DENTS, AND THE GE­NE­RAL TREND HAS LED TO THE FRAG­MEN­TA­TION OF THE­SE IN­TO

TWO OR MO­RE PE­RIODS DU­RING THE YEAR

Cul­tu­ral patterns are the main reason for the Bri­tish to choose a par­ti­cu­lar des­ti­na­tion for both ho­li­days and va­ca­tions, whe­re they can en­joy a sunny and re­la­xing atmosphere, as well as experiencing “a different culture.” Tho­se who ta­ke trips on ho­li­days are much mo­re de­man­ding in terms of of­fers, pri­ces and the sa­fety of the des­ti­na­tion they are hea­ding to.

THE CA­RIB­BEAN AS A TRA­VEL DES­TI­NA­TION FOR THE UK

The Bri­tish tou­rist, who tra­vels to Me­xi­co (539,000 in 2017), does it pre­fe­rably to Can­cun (429,000 in 2017), Ri­vie­ra Ma­ya, Pla­ya del Carmen and Hua­tul­co, es­pe­cially as couples and as in­di­vi­dual sun­bat­hers. Bar­ba­dos, Ja­mai­ca, Cu­ba and the Do­mi­ni­can Re­pu­blic top the list of is­land des­ti­na­tions Bri­tish travelers li­ke the most when it co­mes to the Ca­rib­bean.

Bar­ba­dos is by and lar­ge one of the most im­por­tant des­ti­na­tions in the Ca­rib­bean for high-in­co­me tou­rists, re­eling in over 1.3 mi­llion vi­si­tors in 2017 and boas­ting a lar­ge ac­com­mo­da­tion net­work per­ched mainly on the west and south of the is­land, whe­re in­ter­na­tio­nal ho­tel com­pa­nies ope­ra­te. This is one of the small Ca­rib­bean des­ti­na­tions that wel­co­mes mo­re air­bor­ne tou­rists, hai­ling mostly from En­gland (36.2%), fo­llo­wed by the United Sta­tes (25%) and Ca­na­da (12.6%).

Ja­mai­ca is the num­ber-one tra­vel des­ti­na­tion for Bri­tons in the West in­dies. In 2017, the country nab­bed 217,647 travelers from the United Kingdom. The tou­rist-orien­ted de­li­very of sun, beach and na­tu­ral eco­lo­gi­cal parks that the is­land has to of­fer co­mes to­get­her with ot­her tra­vel ni­ches, such as health, sport and com­mu­nity tourism, coupled with mul­ti-the­med cul­tu­ral ac­ti­vi­ties and events. In the all-in­clu­si­ve seg­ment, the is­land na­tion counts on re­sorts, lu­xury vi­llas and me­dium-in­co­me ac­com­mo­da­tions, clus­te­red in half a do­zen world­class tra­vel cir­cuits: Mon­te­go Bay, Ocho Rios, Ne­gril, Port Antonio, Kings­ton and the South Coast.

This Ca­rib­bean des­ti­na­tion is no doubt one of the top tra­vel des­ti­na­tions for Ca­rib­bean crui­ses. It's so much so, that in 2017 it wel­co­med 1.9 mi­llion crui­se pas­sen­gers.

The la­yout and dy­na­mics of the tourism sec­tor in the Do­mi­ni­can Re­pu­blic are ar­ti­cu­la­ted in the form of tou­rist pac­ka­ges with ho­tel op­tions of different ca­te­go­ries, with a to­tal ca­pa­city of 78,209 ho­tel rooms and 34 world-class golf cour­ses, fi­gu­res that ex­ceed tho­se in ot­her coun­tries of the Ca­rib­bean re­gion. In 2017, the Do­mi­ni­can Re­pu­blic re­cei­ved 6.2 mi­llion fo­reign vi­si­tors, with 177,534 co­ming from the United Kingdom. Its main out­bound mar­kets are the United Sta­tes and Ca­na­da, which ac­count for 47 per­cent of the vi­si­tor in­flow. Ho­we­ver, in the ca­se of Eu­ro­pe, travelers from Ger­many, the United Kingdom, Fran­ce and Spain stand for 14 per­cent of in­ter­na­tio­nal arri­vals.

Cu­ba is one of the main Ca­rib­bean tra­vel des­ti­na­tions. The lar­gest is­land na­tion grab­bed 4.7 mi­llion in­ter­na­tio­nal vi­si­tors in 2017. Of the­se vi­si­tors, 205,727 ca­me from the United Kingdom, being one of its top out­bound mar­kets.

For the Bri­tish mar­ket, the tou­rist of­fer this is­land has to of­fer re­lies on su­nand-beach va­ca­tion pac­ka­ges, lin­ked to culture, his­tory and nature, sho­red up by an in­fras­truc­tu­re of ac­com­mo­da­tion ex­cee­ding 69,000 ho­tel gues­trooms and 10 in­ter­na­tio­nal air­ports dis­tri­bu­ted th­roug­hout the country. Se­ven in­ter­na­tio­nal ma­ri­nas and two do­zen di­ving cen­ters add up to this tou­rist in­fras­truc­tu­re.

It is the Ca­rib­bean tou­rist des­ti­na­tion with the lar­gest num­ber of bea­ches, his­to­ric-heritage si­tes and pro­tec­ted na­tu­ral areas, let alo­ne being a na­tion mar­ked by a mul­ti­tu­de of cul­tu­ral ex­pres­sions, who­se well-de­fi­ned aut­hen­ti­city tells Cu­ba apart in La­tin Ame­ri­ca.

Di­rect Fo­reign In­vest­ment ze­roes in mostly on the tourism sec­tor and in the ho­tel and real estate de­ve­lop­ment. As many as 21 fo­reign com­pa­nies from ele­ven coun­tries run 124 ho­tels with a grand to­tal of 45,333 rooms, which ac­count for 64.8 per­cent of the country's ho­tel rooms. Ho­we­ver, no Bri­tish com­pany is cu­rrently in­vol­ved in in­vest­ment pro­jects re­la­ted to the tourism sec­tor.

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