As it is obvious now, travel advisors are torn between two options, when the Caribbean will again be fully back in business or not being open at all. They say the one certain thing, is that nothing is certain.
According to Becky Lukovic of Bella Travel Planning, an affiliate of Travel Experts “At the very beginning of this season, we all seemed to think the Caribbean would be the place where we could send our displaced travelers from Europe, yet, with the current Coronavirus situation in the U.S., some islands have changed their travel restrictions, they gave many advisors pause in recommending or booking them, therefore, our travelers suddenly are unable to travel to their destination.”
Further aggravating the situation would be “even if the island opens for U.S. tourists to visit, the resort openings may be far behind the border opening dates,” Lukovic added.
“Third of all, there needs to be some sort of stability in the entry requirements for each island. Why? Because when the entry requirements change as quickly as they have been in the past few weeks, traveling plans are more like gambling.”
Before the pandemic, “Time for Travel” was having a huge year for Caribbean reservation, and Sarah Kline its president mentioned that “The Caribbean was hot, and the demand was higher than ever,” saying that it’s “about 50/50” in terms of clients who rebooked versus canceled.”
James Berglie of Be All Inclusive predicts a full Caribbean recovery will take years. “My guess would be two to three years,” he proclaimed. “Travel will return slowly as people become more relaxed in the post quarantine world, and that shall take time.”
For Kline, “In 2021 clients seem to be more interested in less crowded destinations and we have had more requests for Antigua, Saint Lucia, Turks, Caicos, and Costa Rica. But before all this, we’ve had the most demand for Riviera Maya and Jamaica in 2020.”
Honestly, it does not come to our surprise that agents contended those Caribbean destinations which fare best are the ones with the most effective health and safety protocols.