January 16, 2014 | 3:11 pm | Print
Above: the island of Terre de Haut in the Guadeloupe Islands (CJ Photo)
By Alexander Britell
The Guadeloupe Islands saw a significant jump in arrivals from the United States last year, with a 23 percent year-over-year increase, according to data released by the Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board during the Caribbean Travel Marketplace conference.
While Guadeloupe has traditionally been a tourism stronghold from mainland france, it has been quietly making a push to attract more visitors from the United States market.
In 2013, the Guadeloupe Islands received 4,900 visitors from the United States, up from 4,000 in 2012.
That was driven in part by a new weekly nonstop flight on American Airlines from Miami, service that could be expanding later this year.
Overall, Guadeloupe received 420,000 visitors in 2013, up from 417,000 in 2012.
“We are delighted and encouraged by the increased arrivals from the US market as we only began engaging the market just a little over a year ago,” said Willy Rosier, director general for the Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board, in a statement. “As we amplify market engagement for 2014, one priority for us will be to make our archipelago even more accessible with the opening of new air routes from additional U.S. gateways in coming months.”
Above: Willy Rosier
On the cruise side, the destination also saw significant growth, with an 81 percent jump in cruise arrivals, rising to 252,229 in the 2012/2013 season from 139,396 in the 2011/2012 season.
That came after Guadeloupe opened its new, higher-capacity cruise centre terminal, the Centre Saint John Perse, in 2012.