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MIAMI (December 21, 2017) - Holiday travelers are escaping to the Caribbean, with hotels in most destinations not impacted by this year's hurricanes reporting occupancies in excess of 90 percent over the holiday season.

"More than 70 percent of the Caribbean was not impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria and travelers are discovering the incredible diversity of destinations and offerings throughout the region, as they explore its many vacation options," stated Frank Comito, CEO and Director General of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).

CHTA canvassed a number of the region's destinations this week to see how they are faring for the holidays and into the first quarter of 2018. The results are encouraging, according to Comito, who reports that a sampling of the region's 32 holiday destinations all pointed to a surge in holiday bookings and most indicated that forward bookings into the first quarter of 2018 are equaling or surpassing 2017.

Several destinations reported that a number of their hotels anticipate being sold out over the Christmas and New Year's period. Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Cancun, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and The Bahamas all reported strong bookings, and Comito expects that most of the other destinations which were unaffected by the storms are experiencing similar booking levels.

Turks and Caicos Islands, which was one of the first hurricane-impacted destinations to rebound, fully recovering and opening within weeks following the storms, is reporting occupancies in excess of 90 percent over the holidays and strong first quarter bookings.

Puerto Rico announced last week that it is open for business, with many of the hotels in the popular coastal stretch in and around San Juan up and running and thousands of restaurants now operating.

CHTA will be bringing Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the region's largest B2B marketing event, to Puerto Rico from January 30 to February 1, 2018.

Comito advised prospective travelers that there is still an opportunity to book a last minute quick escape to the region over the holidays, and into the first quarter. Travelers are encouraged to visit www.caribbeantravelupdate.com for information about those destinations and hotels which are welcoming visitors.

"Now is a perfect time to visit and support the Caribbean and to see for yourselves how the resilience of our people offers travelers from around the world an exceptional experience - especially during this winter season and beyond," said Comito.

About the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA)

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is the Caribbean's leading association representing tourism interests for national hotel and tourism associations. For more than 50 years, CHTA has been the backbone of the Caribbean hospitality industry. Working together with 1,000 hotel and allied members and 32 National Hotel Associations, CHTA is shaping the Caribbean's future and helping members to grow their businesses. Whether navigating new worlds like social media, sustainability, legislative issues, emerging technologies, data and intelligence or looking for avenues and ideas to better market and manage businesses, CHTA is helping members on matters that matter most.

For further information, visit www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.

About Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association

For more than 50 years, the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association has been the backbone of the Caribbean hospitality industry. Working together with 1,000 hotel and allied members and 32 National Hotel Associations, CHTA is shaping the Caribbean’s future and helping members to grow their business. Whether your navigating new worlds like social media, sustainability, legislative issues, emerging technologies, data and intelligence or looking for avenues and ideas to better market and manage your business, CHTA is helping members on matters that matter most.

Contact: Greta Andzenge

greta@marketplaceexcellence.com / +1 201 861-2056

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