By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
EXPEDIA, the world’s largest online travel company, yesterday said bookings to the Bahamas increased by 20 per cent during the 2016 third quarter.
Demetrius Canton, Expedia’s director of market management for the Caribbean, in an interview with Tribune Business at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Marketplace, said: “The Bahamas has always been a very important market for Expedia.
“Obviously this location is very key. With the Bahamas being close to the US, that helps to drive demand. Similar to the region, we saw significant growth. In the third quarter we saw 20 per cent growth in bookings to all parts of the Bahamas.”
Mr Canton added: “We saw significant growth, especially to Grand Bahama,. with 30 per cent growth, and to the Out Islands with 40 per cent growth.
“When you look at the Out Islands we are really driving a lot of growth through acquisitions. We continue to add properties to our portfolio and that is really helping to solidify the growth that we have seen.”
Expedia said its top in-demand markets in the Caribbean during the 2016 third quarter were, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, with an increase of nearly 25 per cent; Nassau,with an increase of nearly 20 per cent; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica, with an increase of more than 50 per cent.
The company said the Caribbean has “immense potential” and is an “in-demand destination”, with Expedia continuing to see the region grow on its group sites.