Caribbean Travel Marketplace, a regional showcase for global leadership, diversity and resilience in tourism, is being planned for spring 2021, and organizers are seeking innovative ideas and expressions of interest from tourism stakeholders.
Karen Whitt, chairman of Caribbean Travel Marketplace, and executive committee member of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), which organizes the annual leading marketing event in the region, said that based on partner feedback, Marketplace, traditionally held in late January, will be postponed to late April/early May 2021. “This will be a time when travel partners and members will be more flexible with travel plans, and hopefully we will have more clarity on the effects and future of the pandemic,” she said in a press announcement.
Whitt noted the devastating affects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis forced CHTA to seek other options for hosting the 39th edition of Caribbean Travel Marketplace. The Marketplace planning committee canvassed travel partners, members, destination representatives, CHTA officers and others for feedback on the best approach for producing the first Caribbean Travel Marketplace since the beginning of the pandemic.
Whitt, a Turks and Caicos hotelier, who serves as vice president, sales and marketing at The Hartling Group, reported unequivocal support for an in-person Marketplace in 2021. “Resoundingly, the collective feedback indicates a desire for us to be together in person, rather than virtual," she said. "We considered many options and have come to the conclusion that the only way to truly showcase the uniqueness of our people, history, culture, food, music and magic of the Caribbean is to actually be together in the Caribbean.”
The location of the 2021 Marketplace has yet to be announced, although Whitt said they are hopeful that will be made soon.