Above: Babados (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
A total of 519,639 stayover visitors came to Barbados last year, according to government data released on Tuesday.
That represented a 2.2 percent increase over 2013, the first time the island saw positive growth in two years.
“This is admirable considering that our destination is one of the more mature holiday spots in the region, with a very high repeat visitor rate,” said Alvin Jemmott, chairman of the Barbados Tourism Marketing, Inc. “It also comes against the background that there was a projection of a four per cent decline in arrivals for the year back in December 2013.”
The total was strengthened by a very solid December, when Barbados received 56,132 long-stay visitors, its highest total for any month since the Cricket World Cup in April 2007.
It was also buoyed by an 11 percent increase in tourists from the United Kingdom, with a total of 186,858 tourist arrivals in 2014.
Visitor arrivals actually fell from the United States market, with a 2 percent drop, while Canadian arrivals fell by 2 percent compared to 2013.