Visitor numbers maintain record growth

| 01/04/2019 | 23 Comments
Cayman News Service

Rosa Harris, Cayman Islands Director of Tourism

(CNS): The record-breaking streak for Cayman Islands tourism shows no sign of slowing down, with 44,876 stay-over visitors coming to the destination in February, an increase of over 12% on last year. Meanwhile, 197,234 cruise passengers called on George Town, which, although not as high as last February, follows the best cruise arrival figures for January this century and is still one of the best second months for cruise arrivals of any year since records began. Officials estimate that in the first two months of the year more than half a million visitors spent over CI$145 million on the island, most of which was spent by overnight guests.

While cruise numbers are holding steady, the record-breaking stay-over guests are fuelling the bulk of the spend and growing numbers. The increase in visitor air arrivals represents the best-ever February on record, eclipsing even last year, which was also a record breaker. Coupled with the record-breaking January arrivals, this means that more than 86,000 overnight guests visited the islands in just two months.

“Our thriving tourism sector continues to be a major contributor to the growth of our local economy,” said Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell. “We are pleased that the investment in our tourism product from both the public and private sector positively impacts Caymanians and those who have made this dynamic sector their profession,” he added.

Cayman Islands Tourism Director Rosa Harris said, “In the Cayman Islands, we know our greatest asset is our people,” she said. Harris added that the Department of Tourism was committed to developing the local workforce “through nationwide customer service training, tertiary education scholarships and continued increases in the vocational certification programme through our School of Hospitality Studies”.

For more about professional development opportunities in the tourism see here.

For more information on tourism numbers see here.

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Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I notice from the Port Authority website that the total for all the cruise ships booked for 2019 is 1,818,392 passenger capacity. That number assumes each ship is full to capacity and that no ships are diverted due to weather. The total for the year will obviously be less than the total maximum capacity. 2018 saw 1,921,057 visitors. Therefore, at a minimum, we will be down 102,665 cruise visitors compared to last year, or 5.3%. That’s illustrating the trend back to some of the other islands that coming back online as they get repaired. Same will start to happen with overnight guests as Virgin Islands, Sint Maarten, Puerto Rico, Anguilla start large scale reopening of their hotels.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how many of the ‘stay-overs’ are actually in transit or coming here for work or business. In particular I’m thinking about all the US citizens forced to route through here to bypass Trump’s restrictions on travel to Cuba.

    One of the problems with these arrival stats is they rely on unverified info supplied by the passengers. As an ex-pat now employed here I can tell you that prior to my current appointment I made numerous short working visits over from the UK and most of the immigration declarations I made were not only complete BS but they were never checked. It seemed that as long as I produced a valid passport, stated it was dive vacation and gave hotel details for somewhere I wasn’t even booked into they let me through.

    I’m not going to deny the figures are impressive but are they matching what’s actually happening? Not from what I’m seeing.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I just had a house-guest for a week from Canada. He didn’t pay for a hotel room but he dropped at least $1,000 in restaurants. Last time I checked he counts.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is what we expect from a world class civil service and a capable Government. Kudos to all.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I really cant wait to hear how the MoT is going to explain when numbers drop around the same time the other Caribbean islands, devastated in 2017 hurricanes, rebuild and reopen. I wonder who will get blamed….??

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    • Anonymous says:

      I can’t wait, personally. There are too many people here now. No matter the time of day or night or part of the island, there is traffic.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Uh those hurricanes were 18 months ago and our numbers are up over the same period last year when those places were in worse shape than they are now. We bounced back in about a year. Some of their demand has been permanently transferred to us and I don’t know why so many can’t accept or acknowledge this. This drop in numbers, when it comes, isn’t going to be because Anguilla got more room stock..

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      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s see the numbers in a year or two genius. This has nothing to do with government. Anguilla is a competitor for luxury guests and will regain its market share, along with St. Barths.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Da mastermind Harris, she done deserv a promotion.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Mainly due to the Eastern Caribbean’s storm-recovery situation… be mindful of false-positives.

    “Particularly hard-hit in 2018 were what CTO characterizes as the U.S. territories (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (including Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands) and the Dutch Caribbean (including St. Maarten, which reported declines of 29. percent, 7.6 percent and 7 percent, respectively). Several hurricane-impacted countries also recorded double-digit declines said Riley.”

    https://www.travelpulse.com/news/destinations/crippling-2017-storms-wracked-caribbean-visitor-growth-in-2018.html

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, lots of tourists who’ve never been here decided to come after their usual vacation spot was devastated by a hurricane. They were impressed by Cayman, and have decided to make this their “new spot”. So, although some will go back to their original island destination, even more have decided to make Cayman their “go to” destination, which is great for us! Now… if we can just get with the program with public transportation, Uber, and maybe lift the Foot Loose ban on live music on Sundays, then we would really gain momentum!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Moses, Ms. Harris obviously can’t count or things are very dire. How can almost 500,000 people spend only 1,450,000 on the island? Did we forget a zero or two in there?

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    • Anonymous says:

      @12:22 “Officials estimate that in the first two months of the year more than half a million visitors spent over CI$145 million on the island, most of which was spent by overnight guests.”

      $145,000,000/500,000 = $290. Looks like you are the silly one who can’t count. Would be nice if people like you would try to look for something….anything…positive to say, rather than the negative. SAD!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Okay so the stayovers spent the vast majority of that and the cruisers are there to dilute the denominator. This doesn’t show what you want it to show pal.

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      • Anonymous says:

        No one is more silly than a smart a$$

        • Anonymous says:

          What part of the $290 per person calculation don’t you understand? We all know that stay over tourists make up the majority of spend vs cruise passengers. The calculation is based on the numbers given in the article. Spend is $145,000,000 not $1,450,000 as stated by poster @12:22.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Again more talk of record growth, so explain to me again why we need the port and not redeveloping places like Islander and the Hyatt for additional rooms?

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  8. Anonymous says:

    $2.90 a person, fantastic!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Either someone got hired that failed math horribly or the CIG has been lying about the amount tourists spend here… or maybe a little of both. What happened to the $30 – $50 a cruise passenger per day spent on island?

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s $290 not $2.90. Recheck your math, but read the article again first!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Enjoy it while it lasts!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    what is the number of Caymanians leaving for good?

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