Tourism minister outlines record-breaking statistics

| 03/11/2017 | 22 Comments

(CNS): Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said he expects that more than 400,000 tourists will have visited the Cayman Islands by the end of this year, passing another record-breaking milestone and continuing the incredible successes in overnight tourism figures since he took over the ministry in 2013. During his contribution to the debate late Wednesday evening, Kirkconnell pointed out that the numbers were already at record levels when he took over in 2013, but since then a combination of targeted marketing, an increase in room stock and increased airlift had fuelled the continued growth.

“The people of these islands have every reason to be proud of the tourism industry’s performance,” he said, adding that, as the second pillar of the economy, it was shouldering great responsibility and was on target to do even better, delivering “beyond expectations”.

The minister revealed that last year the total visitor expenditure from cruise and overnight guests amounted to CI$627.8 million, and said Cayman was the tourism success story of the Caribbean, with the overnight tourism sector growing at an unprecedented rate. He said that this year growth is trending at an average of 5.2% over last year, with stay-over arrivals expected to cross the historic number of 400,000 people.

The minister explained that successful marketing and airlift management had also helped to spread the visitor number increases throughout the year, with slower months also exceeding all expectations. He pointed to September 2017, which he said was the best recorded September in history and for the fourth consecutive month was a recording breaking arrival. He said that $19 million more has circulated in the local economy as a result of the additional visitors alone this year.

Kirkconnell said the revenue was part of the “trickle-down” that helped create business opportunities as well as jobs for Caymanians in the sector, as he pointed to the need to get local people on the front line of the industry to ensure the Caymankind brand success continued.

A decline in cruise numbers was due to bad weather at the beginning of the year, he said, but have increased in recent months because of diversions from the storm-impacted islands. As a result, passenger numbers are expected to end the year in line with the 2016 figures.

The minister also spoke about the controversial port project as reported by CNS here.

See Kirkconnell’s full budget contribution below:

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    And Cayman Brac is also booming with tourism. Alexander Hotel recently reopened – old Tiara Beach site is now undergoing multi-million dollar renovations – two new resorts now being opened southside – and a mega development with a marina on north coast. Never seen it so busy over here – now we need more restaurants, more souvenir shops, more taxis! Thank you Tourism Minister for not forgetting the Brac.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey, don’t forget to add those folk who cruise here in canoes from Jamaica. They bring lots of assets to Cayman.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If tourism is going to have an economic impact here, cost of living has to go down or it will destroy itself. Breakfast cannot cost $30-35 per person and pay 2.50-5.00 for a bottle of water. lunch and dinner $35-50 per person ridiculous. Liquor prices have sky rocketed through the stratosphere. Come on, drop these ridiculous prices before you close down.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Stats prove the dock should not be a priority for your tourism product and the Caymans

  5. Anonymous says:

    All of the success came before any of the Eastern island were affected.
    Cayman is in an awesome position thanks to the great work of the current minister and his team and congrats to Rosa at DOT.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    And at the same time he’s quietly glossing over the fact that tourist arrivals from the UK and Europe are virtually non-existent whilst the Canadians, who were once major contributors to the tourism industry, are dumping the Cayman Islands in favour of other destinations in the region, particularly Cuba. The problem I have is that the figures don’t add up. Record breaking tourism figures at a time when the on-line booking services are offering room rate specials for the hotels here? I don’t think so. The Holiday Inn, which has just been sold, seems to have always had deals going because they simply couldn’t fill the place. Look at how many other hotels are in receivership or being sold off, the numbers don’t match the economic reality.

    I suspect these figures are based on two simple factors. The first is people who own property on the island popping over to take advantage of it or letting it out. The second is people landing here who are not tourists. Some may be US citizens in transit to Cuba but more than a few will be expats coming here on short work-connected trips and not declaring it – before settling here I and several of my colleagues did that on numerous occasions.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You are right 2.40pm tourists from the UK and Europe favour destinations such as Jamaica, Cuba, Dom Rep and Barbados because Cayman is so damn expensive!! Tourists from the US only come here because of its close proximity otherwise you wouldn’t see them either. I’ve even read hotels offering a 15% discount to the US tourist. Why???? You are a British Colony! Offer it to UK residents to visit.

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      • Dawayaget says:

        Yes we know the British are too cheap.

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        • Anonymous says:

          We British are not cheap 12.36pm we pay far more taxes than Cayman or the U.S than you will ever pay in a lifetime!!!……….and we have to work a damn sight harder too for our pound, so cut out the sarcasm, it doesn’t suit you!

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          • cheapcheap says:

            youu all are too cheap it is a fact .

            • Anonymous says:

              8:29 No, the Brits just understand value for money and don’t like being ripped off. They’ll happily pay £3000+ for a week in a decent resort at an unspoilt location but paying that sort of money for the construction site we call SMB is insane. And don’t forget it’s not just the UK but all of Europe and increasingly Canada turning their backs on us.

  7. Veritas says:

    “Successful marketing”, my foot!.No mention that most of our competition has suffered from hurricanes and I bet he has even included those hurricane related relocations in his figures.

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    • Anonymous says:

      They have a instagram account now. That’s about all they’ve done.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Department of Tourism deserves credit for these awesome results which are part of a trend that started long before the unfortunate devastation of some of the Eastern Caribbean countries. Visitors book travel months in advance, and our uptick shows they selected us over other destinations.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    good news yes…but mainly due to improved economic conditions internationally…..
    what has this government done?….
    don’t forget that more expats means more visitors through their family and friends…

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  9. West bay Premier says:

    I wonder if the Minister is taking in consideration that a lot of the other Caribbean Islands are temporary out of commission for a. while . Maybe that’s why the numbers are looking so good today .

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    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely on the mark – this is at least the second recent speech by him where he has conveniently omitted to mention we are enjoying a boost because so much of the Eastern Caribbean destinations have suffered hurricane damage

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  10. Anonymous says:

    It’s clear the dock is not needed.

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