Visitor expenditure in the Falklands increased from both land-based tourists and cruise passengers last season. With all the figures from Immigration now in, and the cruise and air surveys analysed, the Tourist Board has a good picture of how last season performed they told Penguin News.
Overall, arrivals figures were almost identical to the previous season, with over 55,000 cruise visitors and just over 1,400 land based leisure tourists.
However, land-based leisure visitors spent an average of £152.52 per night, up 3.5% on the previous season, and cruise passengers spent an average of £57.77, up almost 18%.
While this means that total cruise passenger expenditure amounted to £3.2 million, the best season to date, overnight leisure expenditure fell marginally to £2.3 million due to a slightly shorter average length of stay compared to the previous season (the average stay was 9.8 nights).
The main market for land-based tourists is still the UK, with very little change in visitor numbers however there was strong growth in arrivals from the USA and Germany.
Leisure tourist arrivals on LATAM increased by almost 5%, while there was a decline in arrivals on the air bridge of 15%.
Over half (53%) of all overnight leisure visitors had been to the Falklands before, continuing the trend of a high proportion of repeat visitors. Leisure visitors tend to be heavily male dominated, and typically over 45 years.
The youngest and most gender balanced market is the French.
Almost one half of all expenditure was on accommodation, however a significant 20% was on food and drink, and 14% on shopping; meaning that tourists spend around £21 per day on shopping items.
Serviced accommodation occupancy increased slightly in 2016, with the average room rate being 45.2% over the year. However, self-catering occupancy dropped slightly to 22.8%.
Looking forward to 2017, the Tourist Board is anticipating a good year for overnight leisure tourism, with a very strong February and March already recorded.(Penguin News)