Tourism industry starts year with a growth in visitors

| 27/02/2011

(CNS): Despite the continued global recession and evidence of local crime beginning to impact visitors to the island, figures released by the Department of Tourism for the first month of 2011 reveal the highest number of air arrivals in January for a decade. Cruise statistics are also up on the last two years with a more than 6 percent increase on 2011. The promising January figures come in the wake of positive improvements throughout 2010 for both cruise and air arrivals. People visiting Cayman by air last year increased by 6% on the previous year and cruise passengers also went up by more than 5%. If the January figures are reflected throughout 2011, Cayman’s tourism industry could have a new lease of life this year.

26,445 people flew into the Cayman Islands in January, not only a 5.8% increase on 2010 but the best figure since 2001 when 28,953 air passengers visited the island. Although there was an increase of more then 2% of visitors coming from the United States, the 26.3% on passengers arriving from Canada helped to make January a record month. The addition of the new WestJet service from Toronto, which began in November appears to be the main reason for the increase in visitors. While visitors from the UK and Ireland fell by over 5%, an increase of 15% from other parts of Europe offset that decline.

In 2010 a total of 1,597,838 cruise passengers visited Grand Cayman and 288,272 passengers arrived in the Cayman Islands by air. The average monthly rate for cruise passengers was just over 133,000, a figure surpassed by January’s 175,536, and the average monthly air arrival in 2010 was just over 24,000, which means the 26,445 people arriving this January bodes well for the industry in 2011.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I think what is more important is to start getting a gauge on dollars spent in Cayman instead of number of tourists.  There are some low end accommodations that are booming right now, while some of the higher end accommodations are really struggling. 

    I suspect that the travelers we are getting are much more price sensitive than before and are probably spending far less per head than they used to, both for cruise and for stay over. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear DOT (and the rest of Government): "STOP LYING TO US!"  …….and yourselves for that matter. 

  3. IRON CLAD says:

    In my firmest belief this spike in visitors may be mostly from the nasty weather that has been hitting the US, consequently many are escaping to the Caribbean/Cayman for some relief.

    Are the Canadians genuine tourists or are they here mostly seeking work/visiting and partying friends already here as is usually the case?

    Just food for thought.


    • Dirk says:

      Why do you say people visiting friends and family aren’t "genuine tourists"? Sure, they most likely don’t stay in hotels, but they pay airfare and visitor taxes and fees and they also stimulate the economy by buying food and drink (sorry, "partying") and other goods and services from local companies. They also encourage their resident friends and family to go out and do the same.

      Whenever I have visitors from the US we go to the Turtle Farm, Botanic Park, Pedro Castle, Stringray City, Brewery, snorkel or dive charters, etc and eat and drink out almost every night. We tend to drink Caybrew because it’s a local experience – and really good! They are also very likely to buy souvenirs and duty free items such as jewelry, liquor, perfume, watches, etc. What do you have against them?

    • Anonymous says:

      So… how many tourists a year do you bring into the economy, Mr. Clad? 

  4. So therefore... says:

    The moral of the story is that we should all be nice to the Canadians, eh?.

  5. Anonymous says:

    if the traffic that is coming in from the U.S. and connecting (on another ticket so may look like a local passenger) to Havana, coupled with the traffic from Honduras (locals and work permit holders) is taken out, is there really an increase? Honduran and in transit passengers do little/if anything for the tourism industry in Cayman

    This article looks like it was written by the DoT to validate an excessive budget

  6. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if the hotels would charge reasonable rates, they wouldn’t be in receivership…just saying…

  7. Anonymous says:

    I really wish DoT would stop counting the total number of cruise ship passengers per ship versus the numbers that actually get off at our port.  

    • Anonymous says:

      you have got to be kidding me!  what does that show?  why not list how many people live in the city that the boat comes from.  seems like you could get some REALLY BIG numbers like that.  Or the country’s population ?

      I would feel really good knowing 300,000,000 people ‘visited’ the island yesterday.  And after all folks, isn’t feeling good what it’s really all about.

    • Anonymous says:

      At last someone else agrees with me, as I have been saying this for a long time.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If the numbers really are increasing why do we have a major hotel on Seven Mile Beach going into Receivership ???

    CITA did say in an earlier press release that despite the government’s announcement of increased air arrivals that they would warn that there was still much work to do. Seems like a diplomatic way of saying these numbers aren’t real.

    I guess the arrivals from Honduras are being included in tourist air arrivals thereby inflating the numbers !!