GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CNS) – The sustained growth of overnight tourism in the Cayman Islands was reflected in the latest statistics released by the Department of Tourism. October, which used to be one of the slowest months in the year, attracted 23,798 guests this year, a record number and an increase on last year of 5.76 percent. This puts the destination on track for a record-breaking half a million overnight guests for 2019.
From the beginning of the year to the end of October more than 410,000 stay-over tourists visited Cayman, equating to a growth of ten percent in 2018, which was already a record-breaking year. The number of guests over the ten months is the biggest ever and helped to fuel record visitor spending on the island of almost $750 million, an increase of 7.4 percent last year.
“It is reaffirming to hear first-hand the positive impact our stay-over strategy is having on stimulating tourism businesses’ profit margin during what we consider traditional shoulder season,” said tourism minister Moses Kirkconnell.
“The ministry has been steadfast in its commitment to our sector and the community at large to create more opportunities for entrepreneurship, training, and development for those interested in tourism-related endeavors that largely rely on air arrivals to maintain a successful business model. My government strongly supports the dedicated work of the Department of Tourism to increase visitation to, and awareness of, the Cayman Islands around the globe to ensure that we maximise opportunities that create positive impacts to our sector and the businesses within this market,” he added.
Despite another slight drop on cruise numbers compared to 2018, the numbers remain on track for a significant year. During the ten months to the end of October over 1.4 million cruise visitors arrived in George Town. With at least another 400,000 due to call before the end of the year, the final total will fall marginally short of last year’s record-breaking numbers but it will still be in the top three years since 2000.
The Department of Tourism has expanded the way it presents the tourism data and information to the public with a snapshot infographic creating a visual picture of the numbers from January through to the end of September.
Officials pointed out the importance of reliable data, information, and analysis for future planning, decision-making and policy formulation for all tourism stakeholders.