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Tourist stats breaking records

| 01/05/2015 | 3 Comments

(CNS Business): The Cayman Islands’ tourism industry continues to boom and break records. The Department of Tourism stated stay-over visitors numbers for the first quarter of 2015 are the best in recorded history for the Cayman Islands. The data shows the island welcomed 115,640 stay-over visitors in the first quarter. That’s more 6,234 people when compared to 109,406 for the same period in 2014 — altogether, a 5.7% increase for air arrivals. The data shows the island welcomed 115,640 stay-over visitors in the first quarter. That’s 10,234 more people when compared to 109,406 for the same period in 2014, altogether a 5.7% increase for air arrivals.

Cayman News Service

Rosa Harris, Cayman Islands Director of Tourism

For the month of March alone, a total of 45,476 stay-over visitors came to Cayman, a 2.88% increase over March 2014. Tourism officials said these numbers represent the largest number of stay-over visitors to arrive on the island in a one month period.

Cruise arrivals numbers also strengthened for the first quarter of 2015. The statistics show cruise visitors reached 544,073 in the first three months of this year, a .19% increase when compared to 543,017 to the same period last year.

As for March, the data shows a 7.60% increase between the 199,245 cruise passengers who visited islands this year compared to the 185,167 in March of last year.

Minister of Tourism, Moses Kirkconnell, said, “The Cayman Islands is regarded as a destination of choice which is evidenced not just by our consistent arrivals growth but by the visitor acclaim we continue to receive, including being named as the Best Beach in the World by US News & World Report (date) and the number two island in the Caribbean for 2015 by Islands Magazine. This speaks to the efforts made by the Ministry and Department of Tourism in collaboration with our tourism partners to distinguish ourselves in ways that are welcoming and satisfying to our visitors.”

Director of Tourism, Rosa Harris, also added, “It is another great, positive beginning to the year, and we couldn’t have asked for a better start to 2015. We are optimistic of the tourism performance which is measured by the growth in air arrivals. The Northeast region of the US continues to be our largest key market for visitation and our efforts to see wins from this market will continue throughout the year. We have excellent airline partners that service the Northeast and we feel there is more room for growth from this area.”

Harris told CNS Business,  this type of growth also plays a major role on the economy.

“The impact of visitation is very important to local businesses, it’s how they pay the bills and they are able to create new products and services for tourism. And by welcoming 115,000 visitors in the first quarter of this year is a phenomenal measurement of the impact of tourism and the importance of tourism for local stake holders,” she explained.

However, Harris added there is always room for improvement.

“Cruise particularly is an area that I’d like to see improved. We had many weather days in the month of March, and I hope that throughout the rest of the year we are able to recover from the diverted passengers in the ships that we experienced in March,” she said.

Harris said she is very excited about the major changes coming to the Cayman Islands in the future with projects like revitalization of  George Town, The new Kimpton Hotel coming in 2016 and the expansion of Grand Cayman’s Airport.

“Overall tourism is a great place to be right now and the horizon is very promising given the number of projects and the new developments that our proposed,” she said.

As for the next quarter, Harris told CNS Business, “2015 we know is off to a great start and we hope to end the year on the same note.”

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Category: Cruise Tourism, Featured, Stay-over tourism, Tourism

Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What about the next 5 months cruise ship numbers? They are frightfully low. Stop lying, and tooting your lazy horns, it is insulting to those of us who depend on this market segment. No Friday ships at all this summer, nor until repos for high season. Anyone who has worked in the sector for more than a few months knows the value of late week ships is significantly higher than early week ships. The loss of 6 to 8 Friday calls per month is massive. Wish I got paid regardless of performance, but I have to work for my money.

  2. Tourism says:

    Interesting to note that much of the work done that ‘seeded’ these great arrivals took place months earlier – and in addition to the tourism partners in the industry here in Cayman are the advertising and pr agency partners in the US (who have just been replaced). I hope the new agencies can do as well.

  3. Jay Easterbrook says:

    The infrustructure at the airport failed miserably. Tourist complained about sitting on the plane for over a hour waiting to get to a gate to off load and then to have a 3 hour line to clear customs. Immigration officer booths were always understaffed with half being empty. Tourist notice this because of the the terrible experience standing in a long line.
    They are NOT happy Tourist and from what we have heard, will never come back.

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