Caribbean’s tourism growth rate more than double global average

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Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) revealed that tourist arrivals to the Caribbean increased by a solid 9.7% during the first half of 2019 when compared to the same period last year.

During a news conference at the recently held World Travel Market, the CTO’s chairman, Dominic Fedee, said this performance was more than double the global average of 4.4%.

Between January and June this year, there were 17.1 million tourist trips to the Caribbean, 1.5 million more than the corresponding period in 2018. The foundation of this performance was a strong United States market, which grew by 20.2%, totalling a first-half record of 8.9 million overnight international tourists. During the same period, some 2.1 million Canadian tourists stayed in the region, a 2.4% rise when compared to the same period last year.

The strong results recorded in the first half reflect the resilience of individual destinations and demonstrate their ability to skillfully navigate global political and economic concerns, including Brexit and the ongoing trade wars which threaten the stability of the global economy.

Several factors supported the gains made so far including increased air capacity between the region and major sources, expansions in the accommodation sector and the positive positioning of the destinations’ brands in the various source markets.

As it relates to cruise, the demand for the Caribbean was so strong in the first six months of 2019, that there was a record 16.7 million cruise visits, 1.3 million more than in the same period of 2018. The present rate of growth estimated to be 8.1% eclipsed that for similar periods in the last four years.