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

Tourism on track for another record-breaking year

| 07/01/2016 | 5 Comments

Owen-Roberts-International-Airport(CNS Business): The number of tourists visiting the Cayman Islands by air increased again in November, placing the destination on track for another record-breaking year for stay-over tourism. Despite a few dips in the summer months in 2015, the very marginal increase in November keeps the arrival figures on the plus side. The 0.24% increase on last year may be small but it meant November 2015 saw the highest number of guests to arrive in Cayman that month since records began.

With just the December figures to be configured, it appears that last year was the sixth time in a row where the annual air arrival figures were be up on the previous year.

In November 29,777 visitors flew into the Cayman Islands compared to 29,706 that month in 2014. While an increase of 71 people equates to just 0.24% growth, the fourth quarter overall, provided December holds steady, is approaching a 3% increase.

This means that if more than 37,330 overnight guests arrived in December, 2015 should be another positive year for tourism. In December 2014 Cayman welcomed more than 40,500 visitors and there are indications that the month was a busy one in 2015 and likely to have seen similar numbers of arrivals.

The annual official accumulative figure reported by the Department of Tourism for the end of November was 345,486, already more than the entire arrivals figure for 2013 and every year before that going back to 2000, even before the last, and one of the busiest, months of the year has been accounted for.

The success story of overnight arrivals over the last five years, since the numbers passed and stayed above the 300,000 mark, has seen the sector enjoy arrival numbers increasingly beyond those experience before Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Although the figures from the port have fluctuated much more at the whim of the cruise line industry, 2015 is likely to be another one of the highest on record. The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism website reports a more than 26.5% increase on 2014 numbers for November. The figures state that 160,967 cruise passengers visited Cayman during the month compared to 127,212 during the same month in 2014, making it the third highest November on record.

With December cruise passenger arrivals still to be published by the DoT, the running total so far in 2015 for cruise visitors stands at 1,472,838, just 136,717 short of the annual total for 2014. Up by more than 4% already at the end of November, according to the Port Authority, 88 ships carrying around 240,000 passengers were scheduled to call on Cayman during the last month of the year, meaning that 2015 should also be a year of growth for cruise tourism, reversing the decline suffered in 2013 when Cayman was dropped from some cruise lines’ itineraries.

Tags: ,

Category: Cruise Tourism, Stay-over tourism, Tourism

Comments (5)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree 5:44 and the beaches in Cuba are better. People love to sit on the beach and eat and drink. Their hotel rates for 2 are $200 per night and on a beautiful beach they get meals free in a Communist country. The cost for food and drink is ridiculous in Cayman.I never saw that many people snorkeling or scuba diving either over there.
    I saw people smoking and drinking and listening to salsa music .Of course one would say that spanish speaking people are the large majority of their customer base. But what about us? We have Central America next to us and I don’t see their wealthy class coming to visit us. Nor are the South Americans coming neither. Maybe thats why the Panamanian fights didn’t work?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Air arrivals might be slightly up, as overnight stays reduced dramatically. All transfers from Miami to Havana via Cayman and re tour are counted as air arrivals, which makes up tig thousands per year. Reading the statistic is nothing more than hot air wrapped in paper and even so the fact is common knowledge nobody talks about it. There is no tourism product development in place since Mrs. Bush sadly left.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, I’ve always said that CI Gov should invest in the tourism market by making bigger and better airport facilities on Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac. Make sure security and immigration services are top notch and in compliance with air travel and regulations. Customer Service at all levels must be professional and 200% quality. The income for the hotels, etc is in the stay over visitors, NOT THE CRUISE SHIPS. Invest in air travel and NOT IN PORT FOR CRUISE SHIPS! Cruise ship passengers only here for few hours and they gone. Stay over visitors spend money at hotels, restaurants, etc

  4. Anonymous says:

    cheap overnight stays is why they are coming most other islands in the reagon are 50% higher than cayman that’s why the numbers are going up

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, over the years I’ve learned not to trust DoT’s stats or the spin they put on them. If the arrival figures are so good and these really are stayover tourists where are they all staying? Hotel occupancy rates weren’t exactly impressive in November and even during Pirates Week several of the larger SMB hotels were offering discounts to fill rooms.

    Even if all these arrivals really were tourists this is still about the lowest growth rate in the region and pales to insignificance compared to the figures for Cuba where UK-European arrivals rose by 25% and, as restrictions ease up, arrivals from the USA increased by over 50%.

    Think about this – in 2016 Cuba will be adding 13,600 new rooms in ‘sun and beach destinations’ to an already pretty impressive selection of hotels and resorts. To match that we’ll need to do a lot better than the Kimpton and all the ‘soon come’ hotel projects that may (or may not?) be built in the future.

    Whatever spin DoT put on it the future for tourism is not looking good.

Please include your email address in the form below if you are using your real name. You can use a pseudonym, with or without leaving an email address, or just leave the form blank to be "Anonymous". All comments will be moderated before they are published. The CNS Comment Policy is at the top of this page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.