The Caribbean isn't just a destination for fun in the sun: it's also a vibrant business destination. The $20-billion-plus tourism industry of course plays a big role in the Caribbean economy, but business travelers also are drawn by offshore finance and banking interests and industries like pharamceuticals and energy. Here's a brief introduction to the top business-travel destinations in the Caribbean, with links where you can get more information on making your visit profitable as well as fun!
01 of 07
The de facto capital city of the Caribbean, San Juan, is the shopping and entertainment hub of the entire region, and a number of international banks and multinational corporations also have offices here. The pharmaceutical industry is a huge part of Puerto Rico's economy, producing most of the prescription drugs used in the U.S. The new Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan is the largest (by far) in the Caribbean, making the island a magnet for meetings and trade shows as well as tourists. Little-known fact: two-thirds of Puerto Rico visitors come for business, not vacation.
02 of 07
The island of Trinidad is an anomaly in the Caribbean in that it gets relatively little money from tourism. But the island still gets plenty of visitors thanks to its vibrant energy industry: Trinidad and Tobago is the fifth-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas in the world. The capital, Port of Spain, already is home to a number of business hotels, and the International Waterfront Project, which debuted in early 2008, added a Hyatt Regency Hotel and a state-of-the-art conference center, and will eventually become the headquarters of the Association of Caribbean States.
03 of 07
Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, is a hub for financial services (contributing 15 percent of the annual economy) as well as for meetings and conventions, the latter mostly due to the large convention center at the Atlantis hotel on Paradise Island. The Atlantis recently expanded its meeting facilities and has added a pair of new suite hotel towers that have become popular with groups, as well. The British Colonial Hilton is a historic and still popular business address downtown.
04 of 07
Although tourism is still the top industry, offshore finance and information services have become important parts of the Barbados economy. Companies (and their employees) love the fact that Barbados has no direct taxation. Barbados also is home to the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, one of the largest meeting facilities in the Caribbean.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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07 of 07
The Dominican Republic is one of the biggest trading partners for the U.S. in the Western Hemisphere. The government is making investments in basic infrastructure like roads, water supply, and energy, and residents enjoy a wide range of U.S. consumer goods. The textile industry and other manufacturing have become more important in the economy since the establishment of free-trade zones. The capital, Santo Domingo, is the country's business hub.