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Visitors to the Caribbean increase


Visitors to the Caribbean increase

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LONDON – Tourist arrivals to the Caribbean increased by a solid 9.7 per cent during the first half of 2019 compared to the same period last year, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) said today.

Addressing the media at a news conference at World Travel Market this morning, CTOs chairman, Dominic Fedee, said this performance was more than double the global average of 4.4 percent.

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 percent, totaling a first half record of 8.9 million overnight international tourists. During the same period, 2.1 million Canadian tourists stayed in the region, a 2.4 per cent rise when compared to the same period last year.

However, the European market was flat, registering a marginal 0.4 per cent increase to 2.9 million trips, with the UK market down by 1.7 per cent, especially in Cuba, which fell by 22 per cent, and the Dominican Republic, down by 15.3 per cent.

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.

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

The remainder of this year, based on current trends, and various global issues including Brexit and trade wars, the CTO forecasts an increase of between five and seven per cent in stayover arrivals and four to five per cent rise in cruise passenger visits. (PR/SAT)

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