The hurricanes that hit Caribbean destination last September slowed down tourism’s progress but did not stop it, according to figures released by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO),
Ryan Skeete, the CTO’s acting director of research announced at a news conference streamed to a global audience that the Caribbean reached the 30 million mark in stay-over arrivals for the first time ever last year, even as the region battled the effects of hurricanes.
The cruise sector also set a new high of 27 million passengers, 2.4 percent higher than 2016, despite the hurricanes, the CTO said.
“The cruise passenger performance mirrors the performance of tourist arrivals, as it grew strongly by 4.6 percent in the first half of 2017, but contracted marginally – by 0.4 percent – in the second half of the year. Indeed, cruise passenger arrivals fell dramatically in September by some 20 percent. However, growth resumed in October, which saw a two percent increase,” the CTO official said.
The CTO said the economic conditions are expected to be favourable for further growth in 2018, therefore it predicts growth of two to three percent in both stay-over and cruise arrivals.