The New Travel Destination for 2019: The Caribbean
After the hurricanes (e.g. Maria and Irma) hit the Caribbean, it was hard to imagine these islands bouncing back, and in a short amount of time. Yet, the Caribbean has made a comeback and it’s on everyone’s list of places to visit this year. Many islands were hit and some had more damage than others. Fortunately, only 25% of the territories were heavily impacted. The destruction the hurricanes left gave the Caribbean a chance to reinvent itself. Let’s take a look at a few of the islands that have recovered.
Anguilla — This island was hit hard, but the hotels, such as Belmond Cap Juluca and The Reef by CuisinArt, reopened in 2018. A new hotel opened as well, the Quintessence Hotel, Relais & Châteaux. This luxury hotel took ten years to build and offers nine suites, and includes 24-hour butler service, vaulted cedar ceilings and polo lounges.
Antigua & Barbuda — According to Conde Naste Traveler, these islands (a dual-island nation) were damaged, but Barbuda took the brunt of the destruction. Almost all of the structures were damaged and the population was “almost entirely decimated.” There is some good news; the plans for the $250 million Paradise Found Resort are still moving forward. The resort is expected to be completed by 2020.
Saint Martin — Three of the most luxurious resorts on this island, Belmond La Samanna, Divi Little Bay Beach Resort and Sonesta Ocean Point Resort, reopened last December and were completely renovated. The beautiful eco-adventure park Loterie Farm reopened and is full of tourists. Another eco-adventure park, Rainforest Adventures, is also open. It had the bad luck of being hit by Hurricane Irma just two weeks into its grand opening!
The islands have gone through extensive rebuilds to lure back loyal vacationers and attract new ones. The Caribbean Tourism Organization is projecting an arrival increase between 6–7% and cruises 4–5%. There are more flights from smaller towns in the U.S. (e.g. Denver) to the Caribbean as well. The rebuilding of the Caribbean infrastructure will provide more accommodations and restaurants for various budgets. And many of the activities (or experiences) that have made the Caribbean famous are open too. Focusing on experiences is another travel trend for this year, in which the Caribbean is benefiting from. Tourists can plan vacations around relaxation, eco-adventures, wildlife excursions and more.
The Caribbean has always been known for its white sand beaches and blue waters, but it’s now known for its comeback. And there will be new travel packages and experiences to be enjoyed. If you’re looking for a unique travel experience this year, check out the Caribbean!
Originally published at Medium.com on May 3, 2019.
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