U.S. airlines are betting big on the Caribbean and Latin America -- and here's why.
Overseas travel to the Caribbean and Latin America could see some big changes soon.
The dollar is stronger than ever and the middle class is growing in Latin America, so travel between the two regions could explode in the coming years, and U.S. airlines are betting big on that happening, according to a CNN Money report.
Southwest Airlines just opened up a new international hub in Houston, and it will double the number of destinations from this location by the end of the year, with more planned next year, and JetBlue is also doubling destinations in that region from 19 to 35. Spirit Airlines is another airline that is increasing flights out of that hub, which serves quite a bit of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Caribbean has always been a popular destination for Americans, but there are a few reasons why it’s suddenly so popular. For one thing, Latin America is a lot closer than other destinations — basically in the United States’ backyard — and as a result airlines don’t have to buy big aircraft that can handle the long distance, saving money.
Then there’s the growing middle class in Latin America, which have increased by a whopping 50 percent in the 2000s, with many surging out of poverty. This extra cash is going to get spent on something, and Latin Americans increasingly want to vacation in the United States.
For Americans, the strong dollar is helping to drive down the prices for their trips to Latin America. The exchange rate is very favorable, meaning that travelers will get much more on their dollar than they would hat home, especially with many countries going through a recession.