By the Caribbean Journal staff
Tourist arrivals to the Caribbean rose by 4.3 percent in the first half of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013, according to data released by the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
The data was released by Winfield Griffith, the CTO’s director of research and information technology, on the CTO’s TV programme last week.
Just under 14 million long-stay tourists visited the Caribbean in the first half, with about 6.87 million from the United States, the largest source market.
US arrivals showed a 3.9 percent increase over the first half of 2013.
“There is enough evidence to suggest that there is growing economic confidence in the region’s biggest neighbour and this is releasing much pent-up travel demand caused by a long recessionary period,” Griffith said.
European and Canadian visitors also showed improvement, with a 6 percent and 4.3 percent increase, respectively.
The CTO said only 21 countries were able to break down their arrivals by destination in time for the report.
Around 25 million people visited the region in the entire year of 2013.
The Caribbean cruise sector showed an 8 percent increase in passenger arrivals in the same period, with around 13.1 million in the first two quarters of the year.