Visitor numbers jump another 20%

| 27/07/2018 | 53 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Airways B300

(CNS): UPDATED WITH VIDEO – More than 1.3 million tourists have already visited the Cayman Islands this year, according to the latest statistics from the tourism department. The growth marks a more than 19.5% increase in numbers for both air arrivals and cruise passengers at the year’s halfway point when compared to the first six months of last year. The visitor numbers continue to break records, which Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said was a result of “applying the right marketing strategies, vision and spirit of collaboration to drive performance”.

While cruise arrivals account for the largest number of visitors, the much more lucrative overnight market grew by almost 16% between January and June over the first six months of 2017. That resulted in an additional 34,693 stay-over guests spending money over an extended period and at a much broader cross-section of business than the cruise visitors.

According to the ministry’s estimates, visitors spent as much as CI$325 million in the first quarter of this year, which is $45 million more than last year.

The record-breaking numbers for the first half of this year were boosted by the number of stay-over guests in June in particular. This year had the best June on record and the 15th consecutive month of growth in arrivals.

A total of 43,785 people flew into Cayman last month, also making it the second busiest month of the year so far, and with 253,928 overnight visitors to Cayman already this year, the numbers are on track for another record-breaking year, surpassing 2017 when the number of guests soared passed 400,000 for the first time.

Meanwhile, in George Town cruise arrivals were also better than June last year, with more than 115,000 passengers. Cruise arrivals are now well over one million passengers after the first six months of 2018, which means the cruise sector could also be looking at a record-breaking year.

The boost in the Cayman Islands tourism sector has been assisted by the impact of hurricanes last season on other destinations in the region, but the long-term and persistent growth is also down to targeted efforts by the DoT.

Deputy Premier Kirkconnell said he was very pleased with the consistent growth, which continues to outpace projections in the tourism sector. “This is helping to keep hospitality service workers employed throughout the summer and is also adding a significant boost to our Islands’ economy,” he said.

Officials pointed to the Department of Tourism’s  “multi-faceted marketing plan”, which has helped to keep arrival numbers up as the high season tapered off, and they said that work had been done to help small businesses play more of a part in the tourism product.

From promotions like ‘Summer Only in Cayman’, which promotes culinary experiences, to the deal signed with Airbnb, the department has focused on keeping up interest in the destination through the summer.

“It is extremely encouraging to see growth in visitation for the first half of the year at a speed we have not seen since 2004,” said Director of Tourism Rosa Harris. “As a department, we are always looking for new, innovative ways to drive visitation while staying true to our commitment to creating sustainable tourism policies for the benefit of our people. Through continued engagement with local stakeholders and the wider community, I am optimistic that together we can create a National Tourism Plan that provides a blueprint for further successes,” she added.



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Category: Business, Tourism

Comments (53)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Funny how these numbers are up and potentially record breaking but if we don’t build the pier the country’s economy will utterly crumble. Seriously? I want to know whose pocket my money will be filling when the pier is built and I don’t mean the foreign companies coming to build it. Which local fat cat figures of authority going to get richer because they can and not because the pier may or may truly benefit us.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Trump is not the reason we are doing good, but the whole economy is doing good bobo! Bracka

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep because if we learned anything from Reagan and George Bush
      It’s that tax cuts for the rich and deregulating financial services is a great idea, right?

      Enjoy the high while it lasts, this next recession might just be a depression

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually taxes were cut across the board. The bottom 45% of Americans pay zero income tax while the top 1% pay 50% of all federal income taxes.

        And wasn’t it Clinton that repealed Glass-Steagal regulations in 1999.

        I guess you think the government spends money more wisely than entrepreneurs and those that actually have an interest as to whether or not the investment is wise and productive. Do feel free to proactively donate to the government coffers if you feel that way.

        In any case, carry on being a useful idiot.

        • Anonymous says:

          I for one DO think that the government has people’s best interest in mind WAY more than some private money grub.

          • Anonymous says:

            The difference is the private sector does not force you to give them your money…They live and die by their performance. Wise up.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “You can never get enough of what you don’t really want”

  4. PPM Distress Signal says:

    Kirkbots and ppm bloggers out in force trolling to control ???????? or ???????? to advance their agenda. When will they figure out this is not scientific polling data based on likes or dislikes.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Our family of five won’t be coming this Christmas as usual. Current airfare for that time is almost $2,000 per person up from about $800 last year. Will miss you all. ????

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you flying from somewhere other than earth?

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t fly last year at the holidays for the same reason. Ever since the hurricanes in the other parts of the Caribbean, Cayman hiked their air and hotel fees. Gotta make the money while the other islands are recovering.

  6. Anonymous says:

    And our environment is suffering because of stupid and irresponsible commercial boat skippers and a whole Navy of illegal private operators taking advantage of a failure to enforce the law.
    The Sandbar is hurting as is Starfish Point, too many people, too much sunscreen in the water and poorly maintained boats spewing filthy, polluted bilge and engine deposits.
    If taking thousands of people to the Sandbar and destroying our most precious tourism jewel is progress, then we’re doomed to fail.

  7. Anony says:

    Puerto Rico’s tourism numbers are also up as well, and so are many of the other Caribbean islands!

  8. Anonymous says:

    nothing to do with moses or ppm…just good international economic conditions along with other carribbean being out of action

    • Anonymous says:

      The reason we are seeing an increase this past year is because of Hurricane Irma & Hurricane Maria. So don’t go patting yourselves on the back. Start thinking “we were second choice”, if there wasn’t any hurricanes last year our visitors ratings would be DOWN!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Our closest one having been put out of action due to crime…..which they are now exporting to our shores.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Terrible news. U.S. dollar bills have an ink embedded in them that is toxic to the native East End tiger mosquito.

  10. Anonymous says:

    “The growth marks a more than 19.5% increase in numbers for both air arrivals and cruise passengers at the year’s halfway point.”

    What I would like to know is the average spend of stayovers compared to cruises. That very important statistic seems to be repeatedly absent from these announcements.

    • Anonymous says:

      Because it’s a hellava lot more than cruise shippers but the people who want the stupid cruise pier built don’t want you to know it’s a waste.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Yet tourist arrivals from the UK and Europe continue to fall off and even more Canadians are going to Cuba. Enjoy it while you can.

  12. Anonymous says:

    And what about upgrading the infrastructure, to meet the ever growing demand??? Eh Mr. Mosses??? Or will we continue to jam more people/cars on the narrow roads of the eastern districts??!!! Or are we planning on not letting the visitors leave the western peninsula??

    • Anonymous says:

      He doesn’t have to put up with it. Unlike us, he and so far as I can see all MLAs enjoy an excellent lifestyle .They’re oblivious to our plight. They would rather build a cruise ship dock, and drive double the traffic East (based on recent press announcements) and make the misery worse. And the only solution ever suggested by a politician (Alden) is an extra lane at Hurleys bottleneck. More hours of misery with more smashes on the roundabout because nobody has a clue how to use them. And it also does nothing to fix the hours of misery whenever there is an accident going East after countryside. Finish the East West Arterial and build a bypass past Hurleys. Simple.

    • West Bay Premier says:

      According to these statistics and Mr Kirkconnell Cayman tourist season would soon be all year long . I hope he see that revenue from stay over tourist is greater than cruise ship tourist . He must be convinced that stay over tourist is more beneficial , why he quit talking about the cruise ship dock .

  13. #EYESWIDESHUT says:

    Still Moses Alden and the other yes men in the unity government continue to deceive the public with lies and misinformation even with record tourist arrivals via air and cruise numbers at record highs.

    The country has other pressing priorities other than spending or borrowing CI$300-400m from Royal Caribbean Carnival Cruise lines, CHEC or any other third party private partner for a cruise berthing dock aimed to primarily to help a handful of GT retail merchants. They will bankrupt the country with this cost of the project. Cayman does not need it.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I love the way the politicians take the credit when a large percent of that increase is due to last years hurricanes destroying much of our Caribbean competitors. I think they have it backwards the increase is due to the storms and assisted by the marketing. I do like the current marketing programs and I do feel they are effective, but I find it humorous when they take all the credit and mention the storms as a side note.

  15. Anonymous says:

    With super hurricanes destroying the rest of the Caribbean we are bound to win. Once they rebuild up again we will dip back to normal. Don’t bank on this continuing.

    • Anonymous says:

      It will continue as long as Trump is in power. The US economy is booming thanks to Donny T!

      • Anonymous says:

        4:41 And Trump’s stopping also Americans any more going to Cuba. Did you know that, despite this, Varadero beach has overtaken SMB on the latest TripAdvisor ratings?

        • Anonymous says:

          Because the Cuba market is so strong in the UK and Europe, and that’s without the Russians. US population = 250-300 million, Europe population = 500 + million, and most have passports and the money to travel.
          Do the maths, the only time Cayman will make money is when they stop the reliance on trailer trash cruise ships and offer an affordable destination for the affluent middle classes, who will stay and spend cash. But here’s a warning, the rip off culture has to stop.
          Dart sees it, that’s why he is aiming for the hotel over stays, shame greedy developers didn’t see it and could only provide condos, many having less than 25% occupancy.
          CITA needs to start encouraging other airlines to come here from the UK. Virgin and Norwegian are the guys you need to break BA’s monopoly. But for a country that embraces monopolies and cartel markets, that probably won’t change anytime soon.

          • Anonymous says:

            8:47 The other factor is simply that Cuba and a good number of other destinations in this region offer better accommodation and service than GC for a fraction of the cost.

            Back in the mid-1990s Virgin Holidays used to list not only GC but the Brac and, believe it or not, they flew some of their customers out here on BA! 10 years ago Branson tried to work with CAL linking Virgin flights from the UK to Jamaica and Cuba with CAL services to ORIA but nothing came of it. Since 2013 Virgin has been 49% owned by Delta and they’ve been wielding a big axe on uneconomic routes so direct flights aren’t going to happen now. As for Norwegian? They need volume and low overheads to justify a new service – we can’t offer either.

            About 12 years ago a large UK/European tour operator with its own airline and substantial interests in this region looked at Grand Cayman but found it was too expensive and didn’t (some sources suggest didn’t want to offer) offer the all-inclusive accommodation that is the key to the UK/European market. There’s also a rumour they walked away when the ‘what’s in it for me?’ element crept into the negotiations.

            It’s a market we’ve lost – get used to it.

          • Anonymous says:

            WELL said!

          • Anonymous says:

            You’re too far from the European “affluent middle class” (whatever that is). They have little reason to fly past the eastern Caribbean and Bahamas, and if they need an “affordable” destination, they are the equivalent of the trailer trash you sneer at.

        • Anonymous says:

          5:03 There’s a good reason for that TripAdvisor result – Varadero is way better than SMB because the Cubans have respected the basic principles of protecting a beach like that like by requiring proper hotel setback and retaining the natural barriers. I’ve been there – it’s not only a stunning beach but hotels like the Blau make everything we’ve got on offer look over-priced and nasty. The other thing going for it is no cruise shippers!

      • Anonymous says:

        how is that national debt doing btw?

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not because of him but the crash will be.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry to tell u this but you cannot declare a trade war on Canada, Mexico, the European Union and China and have continued economic growth. Trump says quote Tariffs are great unquote. The Tariffs will start to fully impact American exports and imports next month, and by this time next year, we will all be stuck with a full blown recession / depression. The last time anything like this economic policy prescription was done was in the late 1920’s and 1930’s by other Republican Administrations.

        Cayman, enjoy these great tourist numbers while you can. Unless a change in American trade policy occurs soon we are in for hard times next year.

      • Anonymous says:

        Obama had 4 quarters higher even hitting 5.2%. He inherited a good Economy. Obama took the stock market from 8,000 to 18,000. Brought unemployment to just about full. Now unemployment is actually risen to 4%. Black unemployment is also rising. His job numbers haven’t surpassed Obama’s and a few are substantially lower. Inflation is at a 6 year high. GDP is on track for 2.8%. Last year it was 2.3%. We just did a welfare package for 14 billion for huge AG farms. Milk prices remain around $14 a hundred. Break even is $20. Due to a disaster of his own making with tariffs. The GDP is a bit higher because farmers sent a huge amount of soybeans to China before tariffs took place. That has since dried up.

        • Anonymous says:

          All of those statistics are false. Stop spreading fake news or provide sources.

        • Anonymous says:

          You forgot to mention the tax cuts which basically put an end to the outflow and will cause an inflow of domiciled companies.

          Trade war..did you not see the EU also China with tariffs too. Basically the weakest duck is going to get Cooked. Peking Duck anyone?

          • Anonymous says:

            You mean the tax cut that gave me an extra $1.00 per pay check? Geez, thanks… don’t know what I’d do without it!

        • Anonymous says:

          Obama holds the record for the lowest ave GDP growth of any U.S. president in history. Yeah Obama!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Trump!!

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