Tourist expenditure in the Falkland Islands has enjoyed a record rise – up 53% - according to new data released by the Falkland Islands Tourist Board.
This season, the Falklands benefited from an average spend of £107 per arrival, compared to £70 in the previous season. This increase is based on the combined average spend of both cruise and air passengers.
Total direct tourism expenditure for the season was £5 million.
Results were generated from departure surveys conducted at MPA, plus departing cruise passengers.
The Falklands Islands Tourist Board has been carrying out the surveys for four years, but the latest results represent the largest increase on record.
Paul Trowell, General Manager for the Falkland Island Tourist Board says: “We are extremely encouraged by the results, particularly in the current economic climate. With our cruise and air arrivals for 2010/2011 already ahead of forecast, we are confident that tourism will continue to be the second largest contributor to the GDP in the Falkland Islands”.
“This latest data is also very timely after viewing the text in the Governor’s address which stated “income from the country’s two biggest drivers of the economy – fisheries and tourism – left a little to be desired”, not such the case for tourism” added Paul.
“The last Satellite Account, set up in 2009, revealed that tourism accounted for 4.2% of the island’s economy. Gathering accurate statistics is acting as a vital tool for the tourist board and with this in mind we are setting up a new satellite account to collate more up to date statistics. We are looking forward to receiving the revised figures to measure the true economic impact of tourism” added Trowell.
“While we are starting to see worldwide economic recovery we must not be complacent and forget the impact that fluctuating oil prices, fuel surcharges, natural disasters and other factors can have on tourist spending” added Paul.
The new National Tourism Strategy is now a strong driver to increase tourism contribution to the Falkland Islands and keep growing spend per head. Initiatives such as developing new air links and new markets to the Falkland Islands are key factors to drive this future growth, concludes the release from the Tourist Board.