Tourism in the Caribbean continues to break historical records. In 2015, 28.7 million tourists travelled to the Caribbean to experience its ever-warm climate, magnificent flora and fauna, and unique marine environments. In 2016, visitors are expected to exceed 30 million. The figure was estimated by Mr Richard Sealy, the current Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), whose chairmanship election was held in 2014. Mr Sealy noted that, already in Q1 of 2016, the Caribbean saw a 7.3% increase in the number of visitors – up by 580,000 compared to Q1 of 2015.
Mr Sealy, who revealed the statistics on 2 June 2016 at a press conference held in New York City as part of the Caribbean Week New York 2016, noted that the rise in tourism was largely owed to dropping oil prices, better air travel, and the strength of the US dollar. The latter has a significant effect on the Caribbean region, as a majority of foreign visitors travel from the Americas.
Nineteen Caribbean nations saw increased tourists rates in 2015, and eight nations saw percent increases ranging between an exciting 10.5-20.8%.
With such impressive growth, the Caribbean is attracting worldwide investment in its tourism sector, including real estate catered to visitors. Luxury hotel brands are establishing themselves on the islands, and local entrepreneurs are also developing never-seen-before eco-friendly resorts. One such resort is the much-awaited “Tranquility Beach” development, designed by Dominican Ian Edwards and supported by funds from Dominica’s Citizenship by Investment Programme.
Other Caribbean nations are also bolstering their real estate developments through citizenship by investment, which gives foreign nationals the option to invest in pre-approved real estate in exchange for citizenship. Approved real estate developments are often environmentally-conscious hotel developments likely to protect the islands’ natural splendour as well as generate sustainable jobs. The most sought-after Caribbean CBI programmes are those offered by the island-nations of Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, and St Lucia, which all offer respected citizenships allowing visa-free travel to hundreds of nations.