Latin American market fastest growing origin market for tourism

Interim Director of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau Edward Dest recently returned from attending the Brazilian Travel Agencies Association ABAV, Travel Trade Fair and Tourism Fair of the Americas, and revealed that other destinations in the Caribbean are outspending Sint Maarten, St. Martin and Anguilla in trying to generate business, and they are committing considerable resources to get the business such as Barbados.


Sint Maarten’s promotional budgets apparently remain minimal or funding for marketing support is not there.

Jamaica after establishing its embassy in Brazil last year has indicated that they are moving post-haste to ensure that the country is able to capitalise on tourism and investment opportunities. Brazil is a country of 200 million; has the sixth largest economy in the world and seventh largest by purchasing power parity.

The Cayman Islands is considering utilizing its national flag carrier Cayman Airways to opening additional routes to a growing, and potentially lucrative market in Latin America. Argentina and Brazil are seen as the next frontier for marketing efforts targeting an emerging class of affluent South American travellers in an effort to boost stay-over visitor numbers.

The World Travel and Tourism Council pointed out in a report earlier this year on global tourism trends that Latin America is the fastest growing origin market for the tourism industry.

Of the Latin American markets, Brazil provides the largest volume of holiday arrivals ranking 24th out of all markets. This is followed by Argentina 30th, Chile 36th and Mexico 37th.

Country Sint Maarten needs to find a way to increase its promotional budget especially for the Latin American market in order to bring more business to the island which in turn creates more business turnover, more income for government and the creation of private sector jobs.

Roddy Heyliger