Tourist arrivals up at year’s half way stage

| 29/07/2010

(CNS): While the tourist industry worldwide may still have some way to go before it recovers from the impact of the global recession, passenger arrivals in the Cayman Islands are at the 2010 halfway mark showing improvement on 2009. More passengers arrived on the islands both by air and by boat this year than last. According to the latest statistics from the Department of Tourism at the end of June well over 126,000 cruise passengers had visited Grand Cayman in the first six months of the year compared to last and over 30,000 more passengers had passed through Owen Roberts International Airport. 

The DoT website states that in 2009 between 1 January and 30 June 739, 562 passengers came on cruise ships while in 2010 866,340 have visited in the same time. Meanwhile at the airport 162,070 people have visited by air since 1 January 2010 to the end of June compared to 132,905 last year over the same time.
According to a recently published report on the region’s tourism industry the Caribbean experienced a mixed start to 2010, with sharp differences between countries in terms of tourist arrivals. The report states however that in general, the picture was positive, with several countries posting increases in tourist arrivals, following a year of overall decline in 2009.
However, experts warn with the 2010 hurricane season forecast to be heavier than 2009 arrival figures in all Caribbean destinations are likely to slow again before picking up in the pre-Christmas high season.

Figures released this week also revealed that travel by Americans to the Caribbean increased in the first quarter of this year. The US Office of Travel and Tourism Industries said air travel to the Caribbean went up two percent in April, the last month of reporting, and five percent over the year to date.

Caribbean figures from Europe were less encouraging, down 43 percent in the first half of the year, which was probably as a result of flight interruption from Iceland’s volcanic ash.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Alright, revenues are surely going to be pouring in again soon!  Let’s build a couple of addtional schools as that will surely solve all of our problems.  Then let’s  build an airport in every district to get the tourists there quicker as this makes about as much sense as starting numerous lavish buildings at numeroius lavish school sites all at the same time. 

    Good times are back Cayman, let’s spend and then blame it on Kurt and the boys when they are back in office for their next turn!

  2. Ken P says:

    Finally some good news so thumbs up DOT yet I feel much of it has to do with the economic recovery in the states. I think that Cayman Airways should become a low cost carrier as I’m sure that with average round trip fares from major US Cities of US$250 we would attract even more tourist. Maybe get Virgin to do a 3 x weekly flights from Gatwick & Manchester could be a good idea as BA is in constant trouble with strikes.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Years ago, I remember one summer Bermuda ran $99. airfare roundtrip. I flew there 3 times. Why? It was too good not too. Sounds silly, but it was the truth! First time, I flew there with one other person. Next time, I flew there with a 3 others and the third time I flew with a group of ten. I bet that boosted their hotels and bar bills etc. Each time we stayed a week. Each time we came home and told our friends, who told their friends.

    I travelled there for years after that until they over priced themselves. Now a 3 day holiday over there costs as much as a week down in Cayman.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If you get us there we have to eat 3 meals a day!

    Most holidays are 5 plus days to make it worth our travel time!

    Excursions are always a plus as we love the ocean, sun and warm weather!

    Entertainment at night is always a plus whether it is the cinema or the after dinner drinks and dancing!

    Jewelry, souvenirs, spas!!

    Just lower those airfares and get us there!!

  5. Man says:

    Yes I agree, but, we have to agree to subsidize this airline rather than scream every time she produces huge losses. I say we seek to fill the seats and by extension fill the rooms, but agree to subsidize by $50-80 million per year and ensure ALL tourism related taxes are paid directly into CAL’s account.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If you could only keep airfare below $600. through  the winter months your hotels would remain full and your restaurants would do a steady business. When airfare goes above $600, I search for other destinations. I travel at least 4 times between December and April. Same advice for the summer months, but drop the airfare price by $250. I travel once or twice a summer. BTW, I never mind multiple trips to Cayman islands a year, in fact, it is my pleasure.

    • peter milburn says:

      I totally agree with you on this as I have said for years that we need to think outside the box not just follow the other Caribbean destinations because its traditional that we raise prices because its cold up north.Cheaper a/fares will get the folks here and the spin off can be tremendous.At least try it and see how it goes just once.What harm can it do?

      • whodatis says:

        Great and simple suggestion guys!

        I sincerely hope someone in the position to implement the changes receives the message and acts accordingly.

        As already mentioned – think outside the box DoT!!


        (Imagine an advertising campaign in the USA expressly announcing lower than average (discounted even?) rates to our Caribbean destination for the winter? In times like these that would be music to every undecided and potential tourist’s ears.)

      • Dred says:

        It’s called stupid Cayman economics. Instead of going for volume they go for the bang. They don’t realise that 110 x 250 is the same as 55 x 500 for the airline but it’s 110 x 80 (Tax)  instead of 55 x 80 for the government and God knows how much in sales such as restaurants and other stuff especially if you have more to spend.

        They raise prices therefore get far less customers not realising in the end they are doing far more damage than they are doing good. Just look at the Premier and his silly economics. Raise permit prices and what does he get in return? One of teh sharpest falloffs in work permit history. When will they ever learn that increase in fees does not always translate to increase in income?

        The small and large businesses do the same crap. When they bring a product in for say CI$150 they sell it for CI$600 and CLAIM it’s duties.

        Aaaaahhhhhhhhhhh. I apologize because our business people here have simply no clue. Government is also included.

        • Adam Smith says:

          The only principles of elasticity our leaders understand is elasticity of the waist of their pants when they are gorging at the trough.

    • Anon says:

      Earlier this week I was checking Expedia on random dates comparing Grand Cayman, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico and The Bahamas.  Try doing this yourselves and you’ll see why tourism is down.  And for us in the travel business, we know it’s down.  Who’s cooking the books here?