The Caribbean received a record 16.7 million cruise passenger visits during the first six months of 2019, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). That was 1.3 million more than for the same period in 2018 which posted 15.4 million visits.
The biggest increase year-over-year came in January, which was up 18 percent, the CTO stated. After that the growth rate decreased in February and March, to jump up again in April. May and June saw a more moderate pace as well.
The CTO includes Bermuda and the Bahamas in its Caribbean tourism traffic reports. Thus, the Bahamas had the most cruise passenger visits at about 2.8 million, followed by Cozumel at 2.4 million, the Cayman Islands at 1 million, St. Maarten 996,000, Puerto Rico 945,000, Jamaica 900,000 and the U.S. Virgin Islands at 760,000.
By comparison, land tourist arrivals were reported by the CTO to be 17.1 million for the same time period, up 9.7 percent from 2018.
The Dominican Republic, Cuba and Jamaica reported the most land visitors, although both the Dominican Republic and Cuba saw a reduction from the previous year.
Dominica was among the island nations that saw the largest year-over-year increases in both cruise and land visitors.