Tourist arrivals continue steady increase

| 29/03/2011

(CNS): Statistics from the Department of Tourism show that visitors to the Cayman Islands are still on the up, with a ten percent increase in air passenger arrivals and close to a twelve percent rise in cruise visitors throughout February. The DoT reveals that 29,911 people who flew into Owen Roberts international Airport last month said they were here visiting. Meanwhile, down at the cruise ship terminal, ships brought in a total of 144,379 people, an 11.9% increase on 2010. Both sets of statistics are also an improvement on 2009 and bode well for the tourism industry in general. The breakdown of visitors travelling by plane also reveals that arrivals from Canada once again showed the biggest increase.

The introduction of the direct WestJet service from Toronto to Grand Cayman, which began last year, appears to be continuing to boost arrivals from the North American destinations as there was a 35% increase in the number of passengers coming from Canada during February.

However, the growth was not confined to the Canadian market as passengers from all over North America were also up last month as total arrivals from the US increased by over nine percent. Arrivals from Europe also increased from 566 passengers to 791, only arrivals from the UK, Ireland and other destinations showed a fall in numbers.

While the continued passenger numbers remained promising, many people in the tourism sector continue to state that the improvement in numbers is not converting into economic improvement. They say that while arrival statistics have shown a continued increased over the last few months, those visitors are not spending as much as people would hope in the restaurants and shops or on tours and services, leaving many tourism related businesses still struggling.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Michel Lemay says:

    I must caution anyone that because only a Carnival ship is in town that it will be a slow day.Please be aware That Carnival Cruise Line now owns many other cruise lines and we should never judge a ship or a potential cutomer that is from that ship or the way they are dressed. On the contrary, many who have children and Carnival because of the many activities on board. I speak from experience as I have made as Big of a sale on those Carnival then others at time. Never judge the potential of someone as you will be wrong most of the time. The point is that that the person you serve or give a tour or whatever, you want to make it your best so they may return by air BECAUSE they were impressed with a good experience. Back to the BASICS with genuine friendly service coming from your heart. Try it and you will be surprised if you care that is! If not I suggest an office job. That you are from here or not you are an an Ambassador of our Beloved Islands.

  2. tim ridley says:

     One of the big problems here currently is the high cost of doing business. The fact that there is no direct tax on profits does not help at all when there are no profits. But indirect costs such as work permits and import duties have a huge impact because they must be paid regardless of the profitability of the business. So when times are bad and these costs cannot be passed on to customers, tourists and residents alike, businesses will struggle and many will close. That is inevitable, however concerning.

    Only when the US job market really recovers will that flow down to our tourism industry here. The very wealthy can always pay the tab, should they choose to come here, but the traditional middle family market that has sustained Cayman over the years is still hurting and feels insecure. Only when that changes, will tourist related businesses here see the visitor numbers and spending really recover.

  3. Michel Lemay says:

    Please understand that the figures that are released re Cruise ship arrivals are not something we can bank on compare to those who arrive by air. Many do not get off the Ships or do not spend much if anything. Some do and sometime substancial depending on what they see as good value or emotion of the moment. Air arrivals however are more likely to contribute much more; hotels, condos, cars, taxis.restaurants & bars, shopping, supermarkets etc. Now don’t take me out of context because I do appreciate the Cruise ships, as they contribute to tours (many pre-sold on the ships $) some restaurants, some shops,some taxis. A big difference here between the 2. Just ask the taxi drivers who gets the crums and they will tell you gladly as they are some of the first along with shops at Royal Watler( if the tenders go there) and around the Waterfront how it go. That is why the service we offer must be the best, good value for goods purchased, real souvenirs made in Cayman offered and last but not least a proper genuine positive attitude that we offer is key. Everyone involved must give all the above the best that they can do at ALL times in ALL tourism related businesses involved for our precious visitors either coming by ship or by air. That’s what is going to help Cayman get back the great reputation it once had. God Bless

  4. Anonymous says:

    Something isn’t adding up here my friends. We keep seeing these press releases about numbers increasing but we also hear from restaurants that things are bad, profits are either down or non-existent, shops closing, The Westin in receivership etc.

    Someone is cooking the books here. Perhaps they are counting the arrivals from Honduras, Jamaica and Cuba as tourists ! 

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not adding up because its completely misleading, as usual….the #’s quoted in the article are the Capacity on the ships that called, NOT how many people were on the ships….it doesnt tell us if they are Full, or if they all got off, or even what the breakdown is of passengers vs cruise workers onboard….

      and to go futher, it doesnt tell us if the passengers were all on 1/2 price or less 2-for-1 cruises….or even worse, if most were carnival clients (tend to have a lower average spend per pax)

      and then even worse, the “#’s are increasing” fallacy is perpetuated by comparing awful years against rubbish years (in terms of visitor #’s)….try comparing them to pre-2004 arrivals, actual arrivals, and you’re going to sh*t your pants

      its all a joke…..the simple facts are that the place is dying on its feet, many businesses are broke, storefronts are empty, everywhere is for rent, the cruise port looks like a pig farm, the biggest developer on the Island was run away from creating a fabulous cruise arrival facility for who-knows-what-cronyism-rationale, it gets dark at night, Saturday follows Friday….all these things are true….but if you spin them another way, the vast majority will not understand…and that seems to be the plan with this current regime…..and still people dont think the Cruise tourist is worth catering towards! its staggeringly naive and short-sighted

  5. Anonymous says:

    Lets not be complacent for a second. Those tourists should all be welcomed heartily and given the best of everything Cayman can offer. All it takes is one event to change our luck.

    Also, lets not be greedy. Many of those tourists have plenty of choices as to where else they can go, and if we ever want to see them come back we have to make sure they don’t feel like they have been financially raped when they are here. Value for money folks.

    • Concerned Caymanian says:

      I listened to the Rooster talk show this morning about wheel clamping. I wanted to call and tell them that the Treasure Island parking lot is ‘clamp crazy’ and tourists are frequently clamped and made to pay CI$85.00 to get their rental vehicle back. This must really make them feel welcome in Cayman!

  6. LoveCaymanSchtuff says:

    Your product WILL sell if it is the right product and set at the right price. Tourists want "local" product.. They don’t want trinkets from "China" or "Timbucktoo" dressed up with Cayman stickers and sold at a 500% profit. Not all of dem are foo-foos ya know!