The Closer Together, The Stronger
MULTIDESTINATION COULD BE THE WAY OUT TO PRY FULLY INTO THE COMPETITIVE TRAVEL MARKET. TIME IS RIPE FOR LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES TO JOIN HANDS AND COME UP WITH MORE LURING PRODUCTS
Volcanoes, jungle areas, beaches, sun, culture, history, remains of ancient civilizations, gastronomy, mountains, coral reefs, wrecks, waterfalls, biosphere reserves, heritage cities, unique flora and fauna, beautiful and jaunty people, places full of mysteries, countless caves, religious sanctuaries, mines, ancient temples, palaces and stairways; islets and rocky outcrops, untapped scenery, mangrove thickets, fancy hotels, dream buildings, ideal climate... Latin America and the Caribbean have all that much.
Therefore, a connoisseur aware of the potentials of the continent, such as Jorge Hernandez Delgado, who chaired the Confederation of Tourism Organizations of Latin America (COTAL), considers that due to the historical, cultural, natural and ethnographic wealth of the peoples that make up this area, "the tourism sector is called to be the top economic powerhouse given its rate of growth and its contribution to social development". The encouraging global results of 2018 lay this bare.
According to data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the travel industry wrapped up last year with
the record 1.4 billion international arrivals, up, 6% from 2017. And although the Americas remained hovering somewhere in the middle with a 3% growth, the figures continue to be encouraging, especially when the ongoing year is expected to sport an increase somewhere between 3% and 4%.
In a region-by-region breakdown, the Middle East (10%) and Africa (7%) outperformed the world average, while Asia-Pacific region and Europe equaled clung to a 6% uptick. The Americas reeled in 217 million overnight tourists, although with mixed results in all destinations.
That is why Hernandez Delgado stands up for the view that those benefits reaped by our countries are not good enough, nor that each one individually is working for the sake of securing better services. "It requires us to be closer together and put all the strengths together to fully enter this competitive offer that tourists are increasingly asking for. It is necessary to stop competing; we must join hands to offer more attractive products".
So, exploiting this advantageous alternative may be the best solution for
the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean if they really want to capture, for example, those travelers who come from distant markets, such as Asia, the Middle East and Europe (currently they account for 7% and 17%, respectively, of the inflow of international visitors), eager to make the most of a long-haul trips by visiting several countries in the same region and thus enriching their travel experience.
Multidestination is also a very effective way of materializing that aspirations of our peoples for the sake of our ultimate and genuine economic and social integration of Latin America and the Caribbean.
MULTIDESTINATION TRAVEL PLAN
Facilitation of travel in countries to visit (visas and border crossing); air and land transport, greater connectivity in destinations, common brand and image, common products and routes, and the role of tour operators, hotel companies and other travel service providers, are the five fundamental challenges that must be taken into account when designing multidestination tourism plans, according to the UNWTO recommendations.
Regarding the first point, there are experiences in the continent that spark off synergies with the purpose of promoting prosperity, such as the collaboration established by the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru). Undoubtedly, the fact that, for instance, visas are not required to go from one place to another, has significantly increased the number of tourists moving among these countries.
There are many that have embraced that concept in the best interest of carrying on its promotion in Latin America and the Caribbean. American Airlines has joined the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA). The fact of the matter is that this company, together with its regional partner, American Eagle, organizes on average about 6700 daily flights to around as many as 350 destinations in more than 50 nations.
In recent years, cruise tourism in Latin America has also been expanding more and more, since shipping companies have que un total de 272 cruceros operen en junio de 2019) en una región en la que, a decir de la Organización de Turismo del Caribe (CTO), habrá un alza en el turismo.
Ya existen experiencias como las que han puesto en práctica Cuba y República Dominicana con el fin de acercar aún más el mercado chino, principal emisor de turistas del orbe. Por esa razón desde hace un tiempo, Air China inauguró un vuelo que une a Pekín con La Habana, con escala técnica en Montreal, Canadá, el cual constituye la primera conexión directa entre el gigante asiático y el Caribe, y su primera ruta con América Latina, una región poco visitada por ese grupo numeroso de paseantes.
Porque ha demostrado que se trata de una solución factible para el desarrollo, la Asociación de Estados del Caribe apuesta con fuerza por el multidestino, una visión que destierra la creencia de que lo que funciona es el modelo de único destino, donde cada cual compite por su porción en el mercado.
Sin dudas, son grandes los beneficios, pero todavía queda mucho por hacer, más allá de lograr la eliminación de visados y una mayor conectividad entre países y regiones. Resulta vital, entre muchas otras acciones, unir voluntades entre los empresarios turísticos y las autoridades para facilitar los viajes; propiciar mejores negociaciones con los proveedores (hoteles, aerolíneas, transportistas, etc.); fortalecer la calidad de los servicios vinculados a este sector; y, al mismo tiempo, diseñar productos y rutas de manera conjunta.
Será muy útil la capacidad de promoción que tengan las agencias y los turoperadores para vender la belleza distingue a América Latina y el Caribe, cuyos países tienen en sus manos la oportunidad de convertirse en destino turístico por excelencia.
Multidestination is also a very effective way of materializing that aspirations of our peoples for the sake of our ultimate and genuine economic and social integration of Latin America and the Caribbean
El multidestino es, además, una manera muy efectiva de materializar esa aspiración de nuestros pueblos de que finalmente se dé una verdadera integración económica y social en América Latina y el Caribe
set their sights on this part of the world, where they see a promising future for their business.
Representing 48% of all itineraries worldwide, the Greater Caribbean leads the pack as far as cruise industry growth is concerned, according to the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), which controls 95% of the North American market share and 85% worldwide with a fleet of over a hundred liners.
The cruise industry is expected to continue making headway throughout 2019. Some 30 million passengers are supposed to arrive during the course of the year (6% more than the 28.2 million registered in 2018). These are very favorable conditions for multidestination plans, since a grand total of 272 cruises are expected to operate in June 2019 in a region where, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), there will be a major increase in tourism.
There are already experiences like those that both Cuba and the Dominican Republic have put into practice in order to make the most of the Chinese market, by far the top outbound travel market worldwide. With that view in mind and for some time now, Air China has started a Beijing-Havana flight with a technical stopover in Montreal, Canada, marking the first nonstop flight between the Asian country and the Caribbean, and its first route with Latin America, a region rarely visited by this large chunk of visitors.
Already proven as a feasible solution for development, the Association of Caribbean States is strongly committed to multidestination, a vision that does away with the belief of travel destinations individually working on their own where each and every one of them vies for its own market share.
Make no mistakes about it; the benefits are great, but there is still a long way to go in terms of having visa waivers and relying on far more airlift among countries and regions. It is vital, among many other actions, to bring travel businesspeople and authorities closer together in a bid to ease travel, foster better negotiations with suppliers (hotels, airlines, carriers, etc.), beef up the quality of services linked to this sector, and, at the same time, map out products and routes together.
It will be very useful to count on the promotional capacity that travel agencies and tour operators have when it comes to selling the beauty that tells Latin America and the Caribbean apart, whose countries boast in their hands the opportunity to become a travel destination par excellence.
La mayoría de los turistas que se embarcan en cruceros por el Caribe andan detrás de sus playas padisiacas. Most tourists that hop on Caribbean-bound cruises are definitely after its paradisiacal beaches.
La cultura y las tradiciones están entre los atractivos principales de la región. Culture and traditions rank among the region's top allures.
Cuba y República Dominicana han puesto en práctica acciones comunes para acercar al importante mercado chino. Cuba y República Dominicana han puesto en práctica acciones comunes para acercar al importante mercado chino.
Siempre será motivador viajar hasta la ciudad inca de Machu Picchu. It will always be encouraging to travel to the Inca city of Machu Picchu.