iLocal News Archives

Air arrivals are still up

Shomari Scott, Acting Director of Tourism

Stay-over visitor arrivals in the Cayman Islands are up for the tenth month in a row.

July figures show a significant increase of 7.5% over July 2010.

Latest figures from the Department of Tourism (DOT) shows air passenger arrivals at 31,407, which is the third strongest July over the past 10 years.

Ms. Nadia Hardie of Sunshine Suites hotel says, “June and July have been really good. We had a drop off in August which is pretty standard for the island but in relation to the previous years our numbers have been very positive.”

Mr. Fernando Soler of The Grand Cayman Marriott Hotel said, “We have done very well this year compared to previous years this month is slow but that’s expected.”

Referencing the results at the Tourism Awareness forum on Cayman Brac on Saturday, 3 September, Hon. McKeeva Bush, Premier and Minister of Tourism noted that “these results are even more significant when you consider that figures for December 2010 were the highest for any December since the year 2000 and January registered an increase of 5.8 per cent (January over January), which was the highest figure we had seen in any January since 2001.

The Premier explained that “from February through May our tourism statistics have continued to improve and for the month of June, air arrivals were up by 7.6 per cent, over June 2010. This represented the third strongest June arrival figure in 10 years. Furthermore, for the month of July, arrivals from the US are up 7.4 per cent over last July, and there is a dramatic 72.1 per cent increase in arrivals from Canada this July, over what we were seeing in July 2010.”

Shomari Scott, Acting Director of Tourism commented: “The growth in arrival figures, particularly during these tough economic times, is extremely gratifying and highlights that the proactive steps that have been taken — such as working more closely with industry partners, realigning CAL and introducing new routes to boost capacity – are paying dividends. Additionally, by working with CITA and other industry partners, the Department has launched a number of new initiatives and promotions that are designed to drive visitation and support local businesses and service providers. Clearly, these are delivering the desired results, as the latest tourism figures demonstrate that the Cayman Islands remains a sought after destination for families, divers, weddings and honeymoons and those simply seeking sun, sea and sand.

Premier Hon. McKeeva Bush

One of the new initiatives in place is the Cruise Conversion & Welcome Back Programme. CITA has recently added the cruise sector to its Board of Directors.

One point of focus has been to improve the visitor experience of cruise ship passengers and create an incentive programme to attract them to return to the Cayman Islands.

CITA has been working closely with the Department of Tourism to accomplish this along with the creation of a welcome centre at the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal.

“As we move into the fall season” continued the Director, “a series of new promotions – including the Visiting Friends and Relatives, Dive Madness and Pirates Week deal — will be on offer to travelers to maintain the positive trend. I would like to extend the Department’s thanks to all of the travel agents, specialists and tourism industry partners that consistently work with us to market and promote our destination, and if we are able to maintain this momentum through the end of the year, we will be well on our way to achieving our goal of attracting 300,000 arrivals in 2011.”


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