The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) just had its 40th edition of the Caribbean Travel Marketplace in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
During the event, CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig introduced recent data from the travel analytics company ForwardKeys, revealing the top 3 trending Caribbean destinations this winter.
The data presented on October 4th shows the top performing destinations for arrivals from the United States for October, November, and December of 2022—as of September 21st. To find the destinations that have seen the most growth, the latest data was compared to 2019 levels. The top 3 destinations are outlined below, and the results may surprise you.
These are the best-performing Caribbean destinations for travelers from the US:
- Dominican Republic
- US Virgin Islands
During the press conference, attended by Travel Off Path reporters, Madden-Greig also pointed out that in other countries —like Colombia—, Curaçao and the Dominican Republic are also among growing destinations for travelers.
Compared to 2019, arrivals from the US to Curaçao have increased by 68%, to the Dominican Republic by 58%, and to the US Virgin Islands by 34%. American travelers’ interest in the Caribbean is always high, only this time, the destinations they are choosing aren’t the most obvious.
A Unique Experience In Curaçao
This spectacular island in the Caribbean gained popularity in 2022 as it became the 13th country in the world to remove Covid-19 entry requirements, allowing travelers from the United States to visit. Its proximity —within a 4-hour flight of the U.S— and its fascinating beaches and local culture make it a perfect vacation spot. According to Flight Connections, there are currently direct flights available from Charlotte, Miami, and New York to Willemstad, the capital of the island.
Curaçao is popular among divers for its incredible coral reefs and marine life. Also, its clear blue water beaches and unique Dutch architecture—and UNESCO-listed historic downtown—make it a spectacular destination from first sight. And the best part? Americans can stay for up to 6 months without visa requirements.
Time To Relax In Dominican Republic
It is no secret that the Dominican Republic represents the ideal vacation destination. It’s one of Americans and Canadians’ preferred winter vacation places, and that’s also why airlines like Frontier, Swoop and Air Century recently announced new seasonal flights. During August, the country registered a new record—that surpasses pre-pandemic levels from 2019— when over 620,000 tourists visited this Caribbean paradise.
The Dominican Republic is the ideal destination to enjoy nature and relax. Visitors have many accommodation options, from hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs to over 100 all-inclusive resorts.
Punta Cana is one of the favorite cities for tourists in this country, and its international airport has been named one of the best in Latin America and the Caribbean. Here travelers enjoy the beautiful beaches, the warm and pristine waters, and all the attractions available.
US Virgin Islands
Not too far from Puerto Rico, Americans can enjoy the beauty and all the advantages of the Caribbean in their own territory. The US Virgin Islands represent a practical destination for Americans since major and even low-cost airlines offer cheap flights, many cruises make a stop here, and for US citizens, a passport is not even required!
The territory has three main islands, Saint Croix—the largest island—Saint John, and Saint Thomas. In this spectacular archipelago, travelers can enjoy the beautiful beaches and local culture. Visitors can take a day excursion to explore or go hiking, snorkel 225 yards of underwater snorkeling path, spot leatherback sea turtles, and eat the traditional fish and fungi.
Even if this territory is part of the United States and English is the official language, it’s a very different experience from what Americans have on the mainland. This destination has its own culture, traditions, and dialects that will enrich visitors’ experiences and definitely add an exotic vacation touch.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com