Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Half year figures confirm tourist sector growth

| 25/08/2015 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cruise ship tender (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

(CNS): The number of visitors to the Cayman Islands on overnight trips and on cruise ships is still rising, according to the half-year figures recently released by the Department of Tourism. As Cayman faces the controversial decision about cruise piers in George Town, figures for cruise arrivals this year show that, despite a lack of berthing facilities here, the cruise lines continue to include George Town on their itineraries. Cruise arrivals are up by more than 5.5% this year on 2014 and for the month of June there was a growth of more than 9.2%.

The number of overnight arrivals for the first six months of this year have also increase by 1.43%, and although the growth rate is lower than previously seen, stayover visitor numbers have been on a constant year on year upward trend for the last five years. A fall in air arrivals this June compared to last year of 4.45% is the first significant fall in air arrivals for some time, but with 213,495 visitors to Cayman by the end of June 2015, the sector remains on track for another great year after it enjoyed its best 12 months of stayover arrivals last year since records began.

With 908,881 cruise passengers having visited the islands this year so far, the cruise sector is also expected to see another good year, with figures likely to surpass last year’s more than 1.6 million visitors, which was the best year since 2007.

The ongoing success of the overnight tourism product and the continued steady cruise visitor growth puts the current controversial port plans into perspective and raises questions of the risk posed by the project.

The significant loss of the harbour’s reefs is likely to negatively impact the overnight visitor numbers at a time when many say that the DoT could continue growing the stayover guest numbers with the promotion of the dive industry. But with growing cruise numbers despite the lack of piers, the motivation for building the berthing facility and the massive environmental loss is becoming increasingly difficult for the government to justify.

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Category: Stay-over tourism, Tourism

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