Expedia Group: Travel Searches to Caribbean Destinations are Picking Up

Expedia Group: Travel Searches to Caribbean Destinations are Picking Up
The Island of Dominica
USA and Canada lead the top of international travel searches to Caribbean region for the coming months   

SEATTLE Travel international searches in Expedia Group sites had a positive raise in July, driven mostly by Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

According to the world’s travel platform data, travelers from the United States and Canada are emerging as relevant markets for the recovery of the region.

The tourism industry is the main engine of the economy of many Caribbean countries.

After several months of lockdown and border closure, among other measures, hotels, flights and tourism service providers in the Caribbean region have resumed their activities under strict safety and hygiene protocols to guarantee a safe trip to international visitors.

Caribbean search trends

Despite the decline of travel observed in the last months due to the COVID-19 health emergency, Caribbean destinations showed resilience. In July, data performed by Expedia Group unveiled that international searches for August represented 65% of the next three-month searches.

Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico were in the top of travelers’ mind, with 30% and almost 35% in August and October searches respectively. The total of international searches was from United States (80%) and Canada (10%).

Under the General Protocol for Tourism Activities, the Dominican Republic reopened its borders for international travelers on July 1st.

After several months of lockdown, the destination did not lose popularity among those who still dream of visiting for the first time or returning to enjoy the natural beauties of the country.

According to Expedia Group data, Punta Cana was in the top searched Caribbean destinations with 35% the last month.

With a strict control for the detection of COVID-19 at the borders, Puerto Rico began receiving tourists from abroad as of July 15. However, since before the Expedia Group sites registered intense search activity to the capital of San Juan, which represented 15% in July.

Jamaica was one of the first nations to lift the closure of borders in mid-June and since then it has received around 40,000 tourists, representing almost USD 80 million and directly employs 170,000 people.

Montego Bay, Jamaica travel searches on Expedia Group sites have increased 15%, also in July.

One of the pandemic’s results is that it generated the rapid adoption of digitalization and increase in ecommerce as consumer behavior shifts online. Mobile searches at Expedia Group website and app in the last 12 weeks gained of 10%, increasing from 55% to 65%.

The popularity of searching and booking trips via mobile devices will continue. This means an opportunity for independent or small hoteliers to tap into Expedia Group’s online expertise and mobile platform as an effective way to capture such demand if they do not have resources to build up their own mobile channel.

How to attract international travelers again?

The health crisis will be a watershed in the way tourists travel over the world. After the question when people will travel again, the next is how to attract them.

Expedia Group leverages its platform and technology capabilities across an extensive portfolio of businesses and brands to orchestrate the movement of people and the delivery of travel experiences on both a local and global scale.

The world’s travel platform, uniquely positioned to bring the world within reach for customers and partners around the globe, shares recommendations to approach international travelers for the coming months below:  

  1. Build confidence that travel is safe. Take advantage of opportunities to share your commitment to enhanced health and safety standards with travelers.
  1. Offer the right inventory and rates. Engaging those traveling first will require flexibility, availability and compelling offers. Understanding how your market and nearby competitors are recovering will help you get this mix right.To better understand when demand will return to a market, Expedia Group is providing free access to a dynamic dashboard with proprietary search data from across the Expedia Group business (patented).
  1. Help travelers choose you. Refresh your information in our platform will help you to stand out from the crowd focusing on:
  • Amenities, such as: complimentary breakfast, a pool, air conditioner, views and more that guest will love and leave you positive views.
  • Updating your photos. Provide at least ten photos to show rooms and property in their very best light (do not forget to include room type, the bathroom, and significant features such as views or patio).
  • Managing your reviews. Travelers read reviews before deciding to book a property, highlighting nearby points of interest. After price, location is often the criteria for travelers looking for a place to stay, be sure to highlight your setting advantages.

“We are still learning the true COVID-19 impact on travel industry. For Expedia Group it was to listen to our travel partners and to build out solutions to address their needs responded.  We saw the true meaning of partnership coming through, particularly at the beginning of the pandemic, when we realized the need to support both travelers and our lodging partners”, said Freddy Dominguez, Vice President Market Management Latin America for Expedia Group.

Expedia Group has been working relentlessly to navigate this crisis on behalf of its customers and travel partners worldwide. For over 20 years, its brands have opened the doors to changing the world through the power and magic of travel and that mission is more important now than ever.

So, when its customers are ready to open their doors, hearts and minds to travel, Expedia Group has been and will be there for them.



South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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