Published On: Thu, Oct 12th, 2017

Most of the Caribbean is Travel-Ready


PHOTO: The Caribbean is eager to welcome back visitors. (photo via Pixabay/pacesetterforchange)

Travel Leaders Group launched a travel agent and consumer awareness campaign to promote fall and winter travel to those Caribbean islands not affected by the recent hurricanes.

Dubbed the One Caribbean Family Ambassador campaign, Travel Leaders Group hopes to enlist its huge organization in supporting the islands that have remained open for business and in jump-starting the recovery of those that have suffered.

“We’re relatively unique because of our size, scope and market reach,” said Travel Leaders CEO Ninan Chacko during a press call announcing the campaign. The company’s multiple brands represent more than 40,000 travel agents in some 7,000 agency locations throughout North America.

“The general awareness of the market doesn’t quite align with the fact that the majority of the Caribbean remains unimpacted,” Chacko said.

“It’s been about a month since Hurricane Irma and three weeks since Hurricane Maria,” he added. “While recognizing that hurricane season has had a devastating effect, the vast majority of the region is in a position—and ready—to welcome visitors.”

Out of 62 Caribbean cruise ports, only 15 are not yet operational and they are expected to reopen soon, according to Chacko.

Hugh Riley, the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) secretary general and executive director, told press that “75 percent of the Caribbean is untouched” by hurricane damage.

“One of the best ways to help the Caribbean is to visit the Caribbean,” Riley said.

READ MORE: Travel and Tourism Industries in Puerto Rico Slowly Re-Opening

The One Caribbean Family Ambassador campaign will provide Travel Leaders’ agents with:

—Information on conditions, availability and packages

—A consumer awareness and social media toolkit including multi-media content such as logos, images, video, and informational posts

—Destination and marketing materials including promotions for unaffected islands

—Fundraising efforts to help agents and affected areas

Travel Leaders Group will also provide its agents with graphics to identify themselves as One Caribbean Family Ambassadors on their social media platforms and in client promotions.

Travel Leaders will relay status updates on hurricane rebuilding from its supplier partners—including cruise lines, tour operators and hotels and resorts—on its online portals, extranets and booking tools.

Chacko reported that while Travel Leaders’ agents have been dealing with cancellations of Caribbean vacations, most travelers are returning to agents to book alternative destinations.

READ MORE: United Nations Supporting Dominica’s Maria Recovery

Travel Leaders is also raising money for hurricane relief through its Family Bonds Foundation. To date, it has raised $45,000.



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