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Montevideo, November 15th 2018 - 13:02 UTC

Caribbean is anticipating 5% increase in tourist arrivals after a record 2014

Tuesday, February 17th 2015 - 06:00 UTC
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“Last year, we received more visitors than ever before, recording our fifth straight year of growth” said CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley “Last year, we received more visitors than ever before, recording our fifth straight year of growth” said CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley
“So strong was the demand for Caribbean vacations that we outperformed the rest of the world, which, according to the UN WTO recorded a 4.7% growth” “So strong was the demand for Caribbean vacations that we outperformed the rest of the world, which, according to the UN WTO recorded a 4.7% growth”

The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization, CTO, is projecting a 5% increase in tourist arrivals in 2015 after the region recorded its best year ever in 2014. CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley told reporters a record 26.3 million visitors came to the Caribbean last year, spending a record US$29.2 billion.

 “Last year, we received more visitors than ever before – recording our fifth straight year of growth – and visitors spent more money in the Caribbean than they ever did before.

“There was strong demand throughout 2014 and I am particularly pleased with our performance during the summer period when our growth rate was almost twice that of the summer of 2013,” CTO chairman Richard Sealy told a news conference.

Sealy, who is also Barbados’ Tourism Minister, said the improved performance was achieved in a year which recorded moderate growth in the world economy, adding “all of this an indication that Caribbean holidays are still in demand, all of this a sign that, despite the moderate growth, stability is returning to the markets and consumer confidence is growing”.

“Clearly, last year, the Caribbean’s tourism industry was the strongest on record. There’s no doubt that political and economic conditions, increased airline seat capacity, improved airport facilities, increased room stock – as recognized hotel chains established themselves in our destinations – and new initiatives in the marketplace, all contributed to this success.”

Riley said another reason the CTO was being optimistic in 2015 is due to the fact that “increased economic activity in our region’s major source markets and the fact that several of our member countries have negotiated additional routes with the airlines to increase seat capacity during the year, should lead to higher demand for Caribbean vacations.

“The outlook for Caribbean tourism is positive, and we project a further four to five per cent rise in arrivals in 2015.”

Riley told reporters that last year, 1.3 million more visitors came to the Caribbean than in 2013, which itself was a record year, representing a 5.3% rise, and well above the projected two to three per cent. He said these visitors spent just over a billion dollars more than they did in 2013.

“So strong was the demand for Caribbean vacations that we outperformed the rest of the world, which, according to the UN World Tourism Organization, recorded a growth rate of 4.7%” he added.

Riley said that the robust showing for the Caribbean was based on the good performance of traditional markets. He said Canada, which was flat in 2013, rallied strongly, while the US maintained healthy growth and Europe topped five million visitors for the first time since 2008.

He said that with more Americans taking outbound trips, the US continued to be the dominant supplier of visitors to the region accounting for just under half of all tourists, while growing at 5.5 per cent.

“Although the bulk of the traffic is concentrated in four destinations, the market supplied increased numbers to half of the member countries reporting data.”

He said Canadians also took more international trips during the year to the benefit of Caribbean destinations, thereby retaining the Canadian market share at 12.3 per cent.

“The increased number of trips was a recovery from the marginal decline which was realized from the market in 2013,” he said, noting however that the popularity of Cuba and the Dominican Republic among Canadian visitors market is undeniable, and together these destinations account for 57.9 per cent of the total”.

Categories: Tourism, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • Conqueror

    It's very important to check out crime rates. The Caribbean is very big on murder. Something to do with the proximity to Venezuela, murder capital of the entire world. Onn arrival, check whether your cab has armour plating and bullet resistant glass. When you get to your hotel, stay away from windows. It's tempting to go out and experience the 'ambience'. This is relatively safe for Americans who can quickly obtain guns. Brits, for example, are in great danger. Would they know what sort of gun to buy? Would they have any idea of the right price? Would they know who to offer the gun to when leaving? Local police are said to operate 'under cover' in order to increase the number of 'crimes' they 'solve'. A Brit's 'holiday' could be a lot longer than expected! And, for Brits, don't forget. Everyone's a criminal. The only difference is the scale!

    Feb 17th, 2015 - 03:27 pm 0
  • ilsen

    I expect that they are picking up extra tourists from those avoiding Vnzla now.

    I remember fondly back in 2000 living in Merida when it was a vibrant, international 'university town' and you could meet people from all over the globe that came to enjoy the white-water rafting, the trekking etc. mountain climbers, intellectuals, the cafe-culture, the vibrant night-life, the buzz of a special place on 'the up'.
    Lots of lovely people, lots of integration, lots of excitement. Easy to make money and trade.
    I had good business there.

    Then chavismo really took hold.

    I was back recently (as I often have been, over the years).

    Now the whole place is a desperate slum, with 2-3 hour queues for basic staples, horrific daily violence, inflation at 73%, and NO TOURISTS.

    Just another day in a Socialist Paradise.

    Feb 19th, 2015 - 04:19 am 0
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