Arrivals soar to new record highs

| 13/01/2016 | 4 Comments
Cayman News Service

Caymankind mural at Owen Roberts Airport

(CNS): Over 2.1 million visitors arrived in Cayman during 2015, making it, as expected, another record-breaking year. Both cruise and air arrivals were up during the last twelve months, with 385,379 total air arrivals, a marginal 0.67% increase over 2014. However, this was not only the most arrivals since records began but the ?th year in a row that the number of stay-over guests have increased, demonstrating the consistency of that market.

Cruise arrivals reached an annual total of 1,716,812 passengers, a 6.66% increase on last year, the best since 2007 following several years of mixed results for cruise numbers.

“The continued success of our tourism sector means that more Caymanians are able to positively impact our visitors’ experiences while maintaining a livelihood in what is an exciting and dynamic industry,” Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said. “Together, the ministry and Department of Tourism actively advanced efforts to educate and train persons within our community to be confident Caymankind ambassadors throughout 2015. Whether it was through the PRIDE programme, Hospitality School, developing a tourism-infused curriculum in primary schools, or granting of scholarships, we know that it is the Caymanian people who make our destination so special and create those lasting memories for our valued visitors.”

The soaring air arrivals are expected to continue with the start of the expansion project at Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA). Although it is expected to take three years to complete, it will significantly increase the capacity.

“The improvements at the airport, along with other infrastructure projects currently in progress, will make our tourism marketplace even more appealing for our visitors as product enhancements, including numerous hotel developments, continue to come on line,” Stran Bodden, the tourism ministry chief officer, said. “Ensuring that the Cayman Islands are able to provide the highest quality in both service and product will continue to be a top priority for all of us in tourism.”

Government is also working on the development of a national public transport strategy to improve bus routes to address congestion issues on the road and to feed the demand for drivers at the airport, ensuring visitors reach their destination quickly. Officials said this was creating opportunities for Caymanian tour operators and taxi drivers.

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Category: Cruise Tourism, Stay-over tourism, Tourism

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It won’t work, because the Cruise lines that spend money on the island are coming from Carnival and RCCL lines. They say that they will only bring larger capacity to ports that have docking facilities for their ships. Customers from those lines complain all the time about the tenders. I know you have seen the stupidity of tenders claiming that they don’t have complaints when people are lined off over 1200 ft from their tender.
    We will not have to pay directly for piers to cruise lines the guests will. Again and again we will not pay for cruise ship facility, they will. If they don’t pay, we will not have a cruise ship facility.It will not make any difference if the tender companies put free beer and drinks with their ride to shore. It just takes to long to offload the ship carrying 6000 passengers and 2500 crew in a 6-8 hour day.
    It is not about bringing more ships to Cayman anymore then bringing Cuban refugees will help Cayman tourism. They are not going to spend money where we need it. We need the Oasis class ship ,we need their class of customers to keep our type of business going. By the statement you made you are not in the cruise ship business so unfortunately you don’t know what we are talking about. We are looking for high end customers who have disposable income . We are competing in the Caribbean and Central America. They built piers because they have the same products we sell. They have coral reefs and diving just like us . They have piers in all the other destinations, why would we will build anything else?

    • WaYaSay says:

      Oh well then. If the cruise ship guests are going to pay the $300million then lets get that darn mega ship dock then. If it is not going to cost me, my children nor my grand children, why the hell dont we get 3!
      If the cruise guest you speak so disparagingly of are dumb enough to destroy the very thing they get off the ship to see………then lets go ahead and take their money….why not.

      If it is going to make me, my family and my friends rich I guess I am all for it!!

      By the way, cruise ship passengers that are “high end with disposable income” is an oxymoron. You my friend is just a greedy moron.

      By reading your post and the statement you made about “WE need the Oasis class ships to keep OUR type of business going”, ” they are not going to spend money where WE need it:” …….I know exactly who YOU are.

      Is it not the same cruise guest who you now dispise the same oned who has kept you in business all these years?
      It certainly were not the Oasis class ships who pass by each week. Talk about biting the hand that feeds YOU; all for greed.

  2. WaYaSay says:

    Are these numbers for air arrivals really stayover guests, or are we counting the Cubans who pass through immigration only to catch a flight to Cuba? Are we counting these same people again when they pass through immigration when they return from Cuba to catch their flight to Miami?

    The reason I am asking is because despite the fact that we have slightly less room capacity that we had a few years ago, I am not reading reports from hotels claiming record occupancy numbers.

    With record stayover guests spending in the economy the Country should be booming.

    It is also worth noting that with near record cruise ship arrivals, the (the best since 2007) thar the”outdated” tendering service is coping just fine.

    I know I am repeating myself but perhaps this fact will encourage the Mimister to reconsider the proposed $300million dock.
    Governmennt should be thinking about building 3 proper tender landing docks, one in George Town, one in Spotts and one in West Bay. These landings should have multi level embarkation and barcation and more importantly proper departure lounges similar to the airport with air conditioning and duty free shopping.

    The bigger payoff to Governmen would come when they mandated that the private sector (tendering provider) spend the necessary funds in order to upgrade their entire fleet to enclosed, airconditioned, multi hull boats under the threat of the Government negotiating with the cruise line to open up the tendering contract or enacting marine safety legislation, specific to cruise ship tendering that mandates the level of quality needed to tender cruise ships.

    I know this eliminates the Oasis class ships, however I also know that 2 more regular cruise ships on the 4 days they have ships in port will deliver more tourists that 2 Oasis sized ships arriving once per week.

    • Hail de Man says:

      Me friend you are absolutely correct. I would suggest that if the Tendercompanies are recalcitrant in upgrading their fleet, that funds be expended by the CIG, to allo the Port to handle this service, thus providing this entity with additional cash flow.

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