July 24, 2017

April air arrivals to Cayman Islands hit record breaking highs

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One in every four months since 2013 has been a record breaker

Grand Cayman, (17 April, 2017) Stayover visitor arrivals for the month of April 2017 were the highest of any April in history. The arrival of 38,927 visitors represented an increase of 12.62% over the corresponding period in 2016, easily eclipsing the previous record of 36,017 established in April 2015.

The figures show that the United States remains as the Islands top source market, representing 82.12% of the total market share. 31,965 visitors arrived from North America within the 30 days of April, equating to an increase of 16.78% or 4,594 more visitors over the same period in 2016. Arrivals from Europe and Canada placed second and third with 2,448 and 2,254 visitor arrivals respectively. Year-to-date arrivals stand at 150,164, up 1.92% above the corresponding period in 2016.

Expressing his delight at the double-digit growth, Minister for Tourism, Hon. Moses Kirkconnell, stated that he was pleased but not surprised by the record breaking results. “My Ministry has worked extremely hard to achieve the right balance in terms of marketing and airlift, and since taking office in 2013 air arrivals have hit record breaking highs more than a dozen times. This means that approximately one out of every four months has been a record breaker,” he said.

Expounding on the pattern of consistent growth under his stewardship, recounted that air arrivals at the end of 2013 were the highest on record since 2001 and were 7.4% higher than 2012.

In 2014, visitation continued to soar and several months exceeded their highest recorded totals in 14 years. Rounding out a year of unprecedented increases, air arrivals for 2014 exceeded 2013 which was already a record breaking year, by approximately 37,000 visitors.

In 2015, total stayover arrivals exceeded 385,000, which at the time was the highest figure for air arrivals in the Islands history. Seven out of the twelve months in 2015; namely January, February, March, April, August, September and November registered their best totals ever.

Most notably, the month of August which is typically considered ‘slow season’ was included among the record breakers.

For 2016, while the increase over 2015 was marginal, the year end results still amounted to another record breaking year.

Moving to the present day, Kirkconnell explained that “While some of the growth for April 2017 can be attributed to the additional hotel rooms that have recently come on stream through the opening of the Kimpton Seafire and the Margarativille Resorts, the dramatic upswing in arrivals is due to a number of other factors all having a positive impact.”

“For example, the collaborative efforts of the Department of Tourism, Cayman Airways and private sector partners working closely together have enabled more joint initiatives to stimulate the market.

This targeted approach, coupled with Easter falling in April and spring promotions starting earlier this year have all played a part in positively boosting arrivals. Given the continued upward trend, I am cautiously optimistic of achieving our goal of 400,000 stayover visitors in 2017,” the Minister said.

Stayover arrivals are expected to be further boosted next month when begins daily service from Fort Lauderdale on June 4th. The strategic alliance with Southwest, one of the world’s largest carriers, will provide a convenient option for travellers wishing to visit the Cayman Islands who are loyal to the Southwest brand.

“It is extremely gratifying to see that our proactive strategies are delivering desired results, stated Councillor for Tourism, . “Performance indicators, such as the Average Daily Rate (ADR) for Hotel rooms places the Cayman Islands at the top of the league compared to our competitors, which translates into tourism accommodations taxes making a sizeable contribution to our national treasury and GDP.”

“This gives a clear indication that the Ministry’s strategies for tourism are working and confirms that the Cayman Islands tourism industry is in very safe hands, he said.

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