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(CNS Business): Both cruise and stay-over visitors to the Cayman Islands increased during the first seven months of 2012, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Tourism, when compared to last year. Air arrivals continue to soar, with the first seven months of 2012 representing a further 3.5% over 2011, which was already the best year since 2001. July 2012 also saw more people flying into Cayman during that month than for the last 8 years as there was a 3.7% increase in passengers flying to Cayman for the month. If increases in air arrivals continue on this path for the rest of 2012, Cayman could be in for a record year in stay-over tourism. Since the beginning of the year 213,689 people have already visited the islands by plane.
More than 80% of visitors are still coming from the United States. Arrivals from Canada and Europe fell but the overall figures were boosted by arrivals from other destinations.
Despite complaints that cruise tourism is in the doldrums, the number of passengers coming into George Town has also increased by 6% year on year, with 971,255 people visiting by ship.
Although the cruise figures still compare badly with previous years, the numbers are considerably better than 2011. In July this year there was an 18.4% increase on those arriving by sea when compared to July 2011.
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