Yes, the title is correct, and that is exactly what I mean. There are some Caribbean countries that are more open and welcoming than others. In the next few minutes you will get a clearer picture, but my premise remains true, many Caribbean Islands, especially Caricom nations are not as welcoming to tourist as non-Caricom Caribbean Islands. My research suggests that accessibility, infrastructure and culture are drivers that make some islands less welcoming.
Many Caricom nations were a no show at a recent, well-known, international travel event that drew thousands of shoppers who were armed with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express and willing to strike a deal on the spot. The French and Dutch Caribbean Islands filled the vacuum and made great direct to consumer pitches demonstrating by their presence, participation and program that all are welcome to their shores.
Accessibility remains a critical challenge for some Caricom islands because of the lack of frequent (more than one flight a day) regional and international fights. For example, if one tried to travel from Curaçao to Dominica or Curaçao to St. Vincent and the Grenadines for example, the flight would take 9-23 hours flying and waiting time, depending on itinerary or carrier chosen. A flight from the Northeast USA to the same destinations (Dominica or St. Vincent and the Grenadines) would be in the same time range and trending more to a total travel time in excess of 12 hours. Generally, North Americans view Caribbean destinations with flight times above 5 hours less favorably.
Tourists are turned off by 2 and 3 star properties masquerading as 5 star properties. In the Internet Age, where photo sharing is common, Tourism Associations and Tourism Boards must ensure that they develop mechanism to work with Hotels and Resorts to ensure accurate descriptions of accommodation. Failure to ensure consistency will bring local tourist products into question. Additionally, each citizen must be a tourism ambassador, and treat the tourist with care and attention that they have come to expect from friendly Caribbean island life. Happy Tourists are Repeat Tourists; so rudeness and poor service should be eliminated from the Caricom tourism industry. There will never be a good explanation for any subtle act of discrimination towards tourist.
Saba is the most open and welcoming honeymoon and wedding destination in the Caribbean. One might speculate that because the Dutch, Spanish, French and English, controlled Saba at different periods of time, Sabans are more open to change and differences. In reality, Sabans demonstrate respect for all tourist. Saba has accommodation for every budget and food for every taste.
Bonaire the island known for its pink flamingos is another ideal location for honeymoons and weddings. Bonaire is the “B” in the ABC islands, which includes Aruba and Curaçao. Bonaire is a great location for an active honeymoon based on attractions that include snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaking in the mangroves or along the shore, cycling and horseback riding. Bonaire would be the perfect honeymoon destination for a bird watching couple.
St. Martin, the French side of the island with the same name as its Dutch neighbor, boast many 3-5 star properties that offer good honeymoon and wedding destination packages. Like Bonaire, St. Martin is an active lifestyle honeymoon destination, especially for water sports. Fashion enthusiasts will be delighted with some of the best duty-free shopping in the Caribbean.
If you are seeking assistance with planning a LGBT destination wedding in an island that will be judgment free, open, and welcoming, you should contact us. We are here to help. Join our mailing list for special offers and deals.
Theo is travel professional and travel author with more than 15 years of experience personalizing cruises, rail vacations and all inclusive resort getaways. His business niche includes small ship and river cruises, and international rail travel. Theo pioneered No USA Visa Cruises™, and Layaway Cruise™ in Latin America and the Caribbean. Theo is a certified cruise, rail and resort specialist. Contact him via email firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook.