As a globally renowned holiday destination, the islands of the Caribbean enjoy strong competition when looking for the best cities for hospitality industry trade and investment.  

Ongoing expansion for Caribbean hospitality industry

Hotels and hospitality businesses across the Caribbean are adapting to travellers’ new demands.

As Barbados prepares to host the 41st edition of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace from May 9-11, 2023. the industry continues to enjoy expansion and post-pandemic recovery.

With the best Caribbean cities for hospitality industry growth emerging, the number of resorts and rooms is forecast to increase further.  

In a recent report highlighting hotels and hospitality across the region, Howarth HTL Miami consultant Agnes Pierre-Louis stated that the Caribbean hospitality industry is evolving to stay relevant in an increasingly global tourism market. 

When it comes to the hospitality and hotels business, the Caribbean is showing a healthy development pipeline for resorts and hotel properties.  

Across the Caribbean region, there are more than 130 hotels (incorporating about 30,000 rooms) in the construction phase, a 30.7% increase in rooms year over year.  

Following closely behind is the Dominican Republic, with about 6,216 rooms under construction. In 2018, Marriott signed deals to open 36 hotels with more than 2,000 rooms in the Caribbean 

Jamaica has 2,144 rooms and Cuba 1,327, figures which highlight the ongoing strength of the hospitality industry in the Caribbean. 

Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory consisting of the larger Caicos Islands and smaller Turks Islands, two groups of tropical islands in the Lucayan Archipelago of the northern West Indies. 

Though the islands are known primarily for tourism and as an offshore financial centre, their investment strengths are numerous.  

Much of the investment that pours into the Turks and Caicos Islands is driven by the tourism and associated hospitality trade, as well as the offshore finance and fishing industries.   

Grace Bay is often considered to be one of the best holiday destinations in the world, as well as one of the best Caribbean cities for hospitality industry businesses. With a range of luxury hotels and resorts, the economic impact of tourism continues to drive the local economy.  

Harnessing the diversifying economic strengths of the island, driven by globalisation and digitalisation, the hospitality and hotel industries have continued to adapt and expand.  

This progress and fiscal growth have made the Turks and Caicos Islands even stronger in terms of tourism numbers and attracting more visitors.  

Castries, St Lucia  

St Lucia’s largest city is Castries, its current capital and a hub for hospitality on the island, known as one of the best Caribbean cities for the hospitality industry.  

Tourism and all related hospitality businesses are critical elements of St Lucia’s economy. The fiscal importance of this sector is forecast to increase, with more hotels being built in Castries and across the island.  

With the St Lucia government forecasting an anticipated $320m investment in the tourism industry in the next few years, the hospitality and hotel industries look set to enjoy the benefits. 

As with many other Caribbean islands, a significant percentage of tourists visit St Lucia as part of a regional cruise, but St Lucia remains a popular destination for land-based holidays.  

Both cruise and longer-stay tourists continue to be equally important to the hotel and hospitality business and combine to make Castries one of the best Caribbean cities for the hospitality industry and related investments.  

Bridgetown, Barbados 

Bridgetown is the capital and largest city of Barbados. Over the past few decades, Barbados has evolved into a high-income economy based on tourism and the offshore sector.  

Having produced the first Caribbean Tourism and Hospitality Investment Guide targeted at international investors, the island authorities have signalled that the drive for hotels and hospitality success is ongoing.  

Designed to showcase and highlight a wide range of investment opportunities across the tourism and hospitality sector, the guide outlines tax and fiscal incentives that Caribbean governments are offering to attract new or expanding hospitality businesses to Bridgetown. 

As one of the best Caribbean cities for hospitality industry expansion, the government and business community focus is currently on the performance of the region’s tourism and hospitality sector, as well as the wider Barbadian economy.  

With industry and local government support, new hotels and hospitality industry projects reflect renewed and ongoing investor confidence in Bridgetown and across Barbados.  

Kingston, Jamaica

As the largest island in the English-speaking Caribbean, and the most populated, Jamaica is often considered one of the best islands for the hospitality industry.  

One of the most visited of all islands in the region, it has a tourism trade that ranks as one of the most important sectors for the country’s economy.  

Since 2017, Jamaica’s tourism has grown and increased exponentially, rising to 4.3 million average tourists per year.  

Though other island places such as Ocho Rios and Negril remain popular for resorts, a significant portion of that number spend part or all their time in Kingston, with many more taking trips to the capital from resorts around the island or as part of a cruise ship itinerary.  

Kingston’s tourists, driving the hospitality industry of the island, are mostly from North America, South America and Europe.  

Having won the Travvy Tourism Chairman’s Award for “Global Tourism Innovation for the Development of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, Jamaica has cemented its position as a leading Caribbean destination.  

With this and other tourism-related accolades, Kingston is one of the best Caribbean cities for hospitality industry growth and investment and shows no signs of losing that status.  

Information, Data and Statistics from Caribbean Chambers of Commerce, Statista, Invest in Turks and Caicos, Our World in Data and Turks and Caicos Government Statistics, Jamaica Tourism, St Lucia Chamber of Commerce.