August 5, 2021


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2012 Air Arrivals Best in 11 Years

As we are all aware, Tourism is a significant contributor to the Cayman Islands economy and its importance both in social and economic terms cannot be understated. With that in mind, I am extremely pleased to announce the end-of-year tourism arrival statistics and to confirm that stay-over tourism arrivals for the year 2012 have exceeded all expectations.

Air arrival statistics released today by the Department of Tourism confirm that 2012 registered the highest number of visitors to the Island in 11 years, and air arrivals for the month of December were the highest of any December in the past 12 years.

Between January and December 2012 a total of 321,650 visitors had arrived by air in 2012, representing an increase of 12,558 persons or an increase of 4.1 percent over total air arrivals for the same period in 2011.

Looking at the month of December 2012 specifically, a total of 35,408 visitors arrived to our shores, representing an increase of 6.2% over December 2011.

To put all of these figures into perspective, the Cayman Islands has essentially registered positive increases in stay over visitation for 32 out of the last 36 months and cumulatively speaking, this dramatic growth represents an increase of 17.3 percent over the past three years.

It should be noted that these impressive increases have been achieved during a time when our primary source markets – and by that I mean the US in particular, but also Canada and the UK and Europe – have all been experiencing tough economic conditions as a result of the global economic meltdown. Moreover, travel patterns which severely contracted as a result of the financial woes and forced consumers to tighten their belts, have still not returned to where they were prior to 2009.

As a warm weather vacation destination, the Cayman Islands competes on a daily basis with other destinations regionally as well as internationally. By way of comparison, our Islands are one of only a handful of Caribbean countries that saw such positive increases in air arrivals in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

The sustained growth in air arrivals can be attributed in part to the bold and proactive steps that have been taken to realign Cayman Airways for example, to better service the industry by introducing new routes to boost existing capacity. In addition, the Department of Tourism has also realigned its strategic business objectives and conducted a variety of mission critical research in order to gain valuable insight and an improved understanding of the factors currently influencing travel.

Finally, by working closely with private sector partners such as the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) and other industry partners, a number of new initiatives and promotions have been launched to drive visitation while also supporting our local businesses and service providers.

These are just a few of the initiatives that have been put into place to increase awareness of the Cayman Islands and boost visitor arrivals. Unfortunately time does not permit me to go into as much detail as I would like to explain the overall strategy and logistics. However, what I would like to emphasise is that these results clearly demonstrate that our tourism industry is not only thriving, but in many respects, our innovation in terms of the marketing and promotions under the direction of the Department of Tourism, can plainly be seen to be paying great dividends.

In addition, these outstanding results also speak to the hard work and spirit of partnership and collaboration that exists between the public and private sector stakeholders. I would therefore like to recognise the Department of Tourism and commend them for their stewardship as well as extend my congratulations to our private sector partners and all concerned, who have had a part to play in the achievement of these exemplary results – including all of the online and traditional travel agents, specialists, coop partners and tourism industry partners that consistently work with us to market and promote our destination.

While I know it is a tall order, I trust that every effort will be made to sustain this positive momentum throughout 2013.

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