Summer cruise arrivals continue the decline

| 24/08/2011

(CNS):Statistics from the Department of Tourism reveal cruise passenger arrivals continued to drop this summer as had been predicted by the tourism industry as a result of the cruise lines sending their new mega-ships to other ports. In June, just over 87,000 passengers stopped in Grand Cayman representing a more than 26% decline on the arrivals for the same month last year.  At the year’s half way point cruise arrivals in total are down by only 3.4% because of a good start to the yea. But with the passenger numbers expected to continue falling this figure is likely to be considerably lower by the year end. However, air arrivals continued the on-going upward trend with almost 27,000 people flying into the Cayman Islands.

While the cruise arrival statistics make for depressing reading the air arrivals indicated that stay-over tourism is holding its own with the second highest number of people flying into Cayman in June since 2002. 26,960 people arrived by air an increase of 7.6% on 2011. So far air arrivals have soared in 2011 compared to 2010 which was also a much better year than 2009. At the year’s half way point air arrivals are currently up by 9.4%

This month the increase in arrivals was not dependent on the boost from Canadian visitors which went into decline as a result of the changes in the WestJet summer schedule, but was down to a growth in passengers from North America with 23,493 coming to Cayman from the states compared to 21,380 last year.

However, occupancyrates at local hotels were not improved by the air passenger arrival figures which were less than 60% full compared to more than 70% this time last year. Condos and apartments fared slightly better enjoying a 42% occupancy rate compared to just under 37% last year and visitors are staying in Cayman slightly longer with hotel stays averaging at four and a half days and guests in apartments staying for almost seven and a half days. Last year the average length of stay in a hotel was 4.3 days and less than a week in apartments.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Tourism

About the Author ()

Comments (16)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    If I did not already have friends in Cayman I would have no idea whats going on on the island. You never hear an advertisment for Pirates Week, Batabano or anything else in my state of Florida. Tell us whats going on and we will come! Where are your marketing $$$ going?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Department of Tourism Office in Miami Florida should not have been closed down. That office was doing a great job to promote the Cayman Islands Tourism and Cayman Airways.  It was the only office in the USA that had any Caymanian Employees. Who knows Cayman any better than their own natives?????  That service not being available is hurting the Cayman Islands.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The decision to go mass cruise ship (five and six ships per day) was a bad idea from the begining and when wiser heads were telling those in charge not to go that route they would not listen.  Cayman's problem was and still is the refusal to use foresight, most countries plan 100 hundered year in advance we love to plan 5 to 25 years in advance and since the 1980s it seems as if we have only been able to make 4 year plans which is getting shorter now we are down to 12 months soon to be on a daily basis.

    If the cruise industry isbad, what is going to happen with the decline of the financial industry which is soon to come, Switzerland is being hit by all the major players and is giving in just to stay in the game. Just imagine what will happen to the small financial centers that have been around for a much shorter time.

    Stayover tourism was always Cayman's bread and butter and  but the government and we the people have turned our backs on itto die a slow and painful death for the glitz and glamour of the moment.


  3. Anonymous says:

    The cruise tourism is down, as far as, in terms of, with respect to, at the end of the day, blame it on the PPM.

  4. Salted Slug says:

    Between the taxi nazis, the stores all selling the same 'made in Taiwan' picture frames, the sun-stroke, and the $10 beers… I'm shocked – SHOCKED I SAY – that people aren't flocking to Cayman like wild dogs on adead rooster on Eastern Avenue.

    Cruises suck anyways. Too many fatties all vying for their place at the trough.


  5. Loopy Lou says:

    Royal Watler is a tacky disgrace of bad design.

  6. SORRY STATE says:

    There is a world resession going on. Enough said.

    • Anonymous says:

      easy excuse…people still go vacation… they just make smarter choices… ask yourself why they are not choosing cayman?

      • Anonymous says:

        Because Cayman is ridiculously expensive!
        Canadian friends would love to come down, but why spend $500 or more in the flight alone…. when they could get an all inclusive week long stay in Cuba or Dominican for around $700-$800….   Time over time, theychoose some other place in the Caribbean.

        Cayman prices simply aren't competitive.

  7. Anonymous says:


    What a shock.. They don't spend any monies anyway..

    Don't blame it on the dock and the  heat, they haven't spent in years.

    "It's the economy stupid" a quote by Bill Clinton.




  8. Anonymous says:

    Quote, "as a result of the cruise lines sending their new mega-ships to other ports."

    Has CNS or anyone else actually got any proof that the mega-liners were ever intended to visit Grand Cayman because if they have I'd like to see it.

    So far no one from either CIG or the cruise lines has produced anything that suggests these monsters were ever intended for routes including Grand Cayman and frankly this bit of editorialising needs to be qualified or removed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Does it really matter now?


      I would spend more time and concern trying to generate alternate sources of income, filling the vacant apartments that become more and more everyday and then planning your exit strategy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Royal Watler terminal has the place in a mess, to many people forced to stand in the sun for to long and then barraged by vendors and hawkers from the moment they get off a tender untill they get back on.

    Directing cruise shippers through the Royal Watler terminal is a direct conflict of interest and do'es not allow other business owners a fair chance at the tourist trade.

    Put it back the way it was and let the tourist decide where to shop and linger without being pestered by hawkers and taxi cabs.

    This is NOT what they come here for!

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous 08:06 I agree with all you have said and to add to what is said about our decline in the number of visitors you could put some blame on us in the retail business. I have witnessed many people who are in contact with visitors telling them not to get off the ship in other ports of call because of all types of reasons including it is not safe, not realising that a tourist see the entire Caribbean as one voyage destination and those who know better then read our news online and see that it is not safe here just as well as the sales perosn had told the of other ports, so next time they look to other locations for their vacation. The ships does not make just one stop in the Caribbean hence if it not good in all destination except one perfect Island then it does not make good business in take trips to that region.

      May be if we start to work with other destinations to improve things as a group and stop bashing others  then things may turn around just like in the old day when we had very few ships stoping here and other Islands worked with us so that we got to be one of the primier destinations, then maybe will see a turn around in more ships stopping here again.

      Just adding my two cents to the kitty.

    • anonymous says:

      Not the problem…Issue is Larger ships, more passengers per ship, cannot tender big ships, need berthing…thus less ship calls to Cayman. Add to that that the main passenger is an American who is spending less per person this year. Simple


      I agree with you the cruise passenger experience in Cayman is HORRIBLE…and I have taken many cruises. Cayman believes it is needed and wanted unfortunately we are poor, poor quality experience compared to other regional destinations. We have to face it sooner or later many would not come back here even if given a free vacation!


      "Has been" destination for tourism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Go to some places on 7mile beach and you will be accosted by higglers as soon as you are in sight.

      Try and find some solace and peace and whatever you choose will be overpriced, so eat on board.

      The whole place is looking like Kingston more and more every day which is another place  I dont intend to return.