Canadian travelers demanding more diversity from Caribbean Destinations

Canadian travelers are demanding more diversity and greater options, and Caribbean destinations must offer a diverse product if they are to remain attractive, president of Air Canada Leisure Group, Craig Landry, said.

Mr. Landry, whose responsibilities include Air Canada Vacations and the leisure carrier Air Canada Rouge, will deliver the feature address on Sep. 16, at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (CTO-SOTIC) taking place in Barbados from Sep. 14-16.

In an interview ahead of the event, the airline executive spoke of evolving consumer preferences from accommodation, to activities.

“From the perspective of the consumer it’s all about choice. We need diversity in the type of products we can offer,” Mr. Landry explained. “What we’re seeing is that with different types of markets, whether family size, or adults and couples, their needs are different in terms of the types of amenities and the types of services, so we need to make sure we have segmentation and the ability to be able to address that.

“We’re also seeing changes in people who are booking villas or people who might want to do some of their own cooking or some of their own travel experiences and excursions; they’re looking for a living abroad type of approach when they stay in a destination, and we need product to accommodate that, and we need to make sure we have enough diversity in the type of things we offer to satisfy different segments of travel,” he added.

The State of the Tourism Industry Conference, which has as its theme, Honoring Our Legacy, Defining Our Future, is the pre-eminent tourism gathering in the region. It brings together tourism decision-makers, including ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, hotel and airline executives, travel agents, students, the media and persons directly and indirectly involved in tourism.

It is preceded by CTO business meetings, including meetings of the board of directors and the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism.

This year’s conference at the Hilton Barbados Resort is organized in collaboration with Barbados’ Ministry of Tourism and International Transport and the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., and is sponsored by LIAT, the Caribbean Airline and Libris by Photoshelter.