Tourism Competitiveness Survey: Beyond Sun & Sea

Beauty of beaches is not enough! Focus on Quality of Visitor Services instead..

Based on its reference UNWTO endorsed global survey TRAVELSAT©, TCI Research has evaluated the competitive strengths and weaknesses of the Caribbean destinations vs main competitors in the world: Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Arabian Emirates.

The Caribbean islands attract 20 million international tourists per year, but beyond the dreamy images promoted in campaigns, are they competitive in terms of visitors’ experience and quality of services and hospitality? In accordance with multiple source market data worldwide, the survey comes to confirm that beauty of beaches is no longer enough.

Beyond beach beauty and diversity advocated by their visitors, Caribbean islands benefit from several assets related to the local people hospitality, leisure and nightlife, local food quality and shopping experience. However intentions to recommend and repeat visit remain lower in the region (minus 15 points vs competition). The gap is driven by a number of competitive weaknesses related to less tangible yet crucial criteria such as the feeling of security, cleanliness or urban development.

Caribbean experience vs competition: a snapshot report

TravelSat- Caribbean Competitiveness

Commenting on the results, TCI Research CEO Olivier Henry-Biabaud adds: “Beyond central issues related to connectivity (cost to reach the destination, visas, etc.), the global competition between «sea & sun» destinations is all a matter of consistency in quality perceived during the whole stay that can generate positive or negative word-of-mouth.

TravelSat Caribbean- Low Competitiveness areas

The multifaceted Caribbean region is made of diverse destinations facing different tourism challenges and it offers a competitive experience to its visitors on tangible elements (beaches, accommodation, food, etc.). However some of them significantly suffer from a lack of competitiveness in more intangible criteria (environment, feeling of security, people hospitality) raising issues they should address if they wish to build a more competitive and sustainable tourism, while emerging destinations sell a different “sea & sun” experience for attracting European markets. Some of these issues need to be managed accordingly in order to  attract  BRIC markets too.

Technical note:

  • Analysis extracted from the global TRAVELSAT Competitive Index Survey based on 30 000+ interviews of representative international travellers from 50+ sourcing markets. TRAVELSAT© Indexes reports opinion of international tourists who experienced the destination in the past 3 months using a standard norm.
  • List of destinations included in the benchmarking analysis: Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Florida (Keys islands) Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St Lucia, St Maarten, Fiji islands, Cayman islands, Maldives, Mauritius, La Reunion, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Nouvelle Caledonia, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Cyprus, Malta, France (Riviera and Corsica), Italy (Sicilia and Sardinia), Madeira, Spain (Balearic islands, Canary islands), Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Oman, Qatar, Egypt (Red Sea), Morocco, Tunisia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Oman, Qatar.

About TCI Research 
TCI Research is a Brussels based leading independent research agency specializing in destinations’ competitiveness evaluation. It carries out the UNWTO Innovation Award Winning TRAVELSAT Index, a reference global competitive survey benchmarking countries, regions and cities’  brand experience.

abouTourism is the exclusive representative of TRAVELSAT© Competitive Index in SE Europe/Eastern Med Destinations. For more information you may contact us at: or  (+30) 210 8941610.

One thought on “Tourism Competitiveness Survey: Beyond Sun & Sea

  1. It goes beyond the beauty of the beach. Quality of service and visitor experience are paramount. Kenya realizes this and has become a very attractive destination.

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