Tour operators are looking to lure budget-conscious holidaymakers to the Caribbean with new brands launched in the last few weeks.
Caribtours has unveiled a new programme with 46 hotels with a focus to reach aspirational travellers and those who had to have previously booked online. Paul Cleary, managing director of Caribtours said the new ‘C by Caribtours’ programme “will change the perception of what a good value holiday is all about”.
With Caribtours known as a luxury specialist the move is a brave one, although Caribbean tourism boards have been looking to capture those with smaller budgets against higher air fares due to Air Passenger Duty (APD). Tourist numbers from the UK to the islands have seen a drop since APD was introduced, with taxes higher to the Caribbean than the US. With this demand from tourist boards and tighter consumer spend, Cleary is confident the brand will be a hit with customers.
“I don’t see it as a bold move at all really, it is just a natural progression for us,” he explained. “Of course, our brand Caribtours has been synonymous with luxury Caribbean for the last four decades but really, more than anything else, the reason we have been so successful is because people trust our in depth knowledge, love and passion for the region. It makes perfect sense to me that, given the continued pressure everyone is facing in the current economic climate, we should give our clients what so many have been asking for– that is more affordable and within reach holidays to the Caribbean – all backed up with the impeccable service and knowledge.”
ITC Classics has also entered the budget holiday market to the Caribbean but with a direct-to-consumer bidding website. Its new arm, The Caribbean Hotel Company, includes more than 200 four and five-star hotel breaks that holidaymakers can bid for. Users can suggest a price for the holiday, which is relayed back to the team to approve or not. The approach is aimed at those more led by price.