By Alexander Britell
It’s been a banner year so far for tourism in the Cayman Islands, and the destination is showing no signs of slowing down.
Stayover visitors to the Cayman Islands totaled 209,143 arrivals in the first five months of 2018, according to new data from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.
That represented a 16.51 percent increase over the same period in 2017, or 29,637 more stayover visitors — among the fastest growth rates in the Caribbean region.
The number was buoyed by a very strong month of May, in which the territory reported a 22.4 percent increase compared to May 2017.
“The tourism industry of the Cayman Islands is an important economic driver that leads to job creation and national development for which we all benefit,” said Cayman Islands Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell. “Our tourism stakeholders should be extremely proud of our collective performance and I am optimistic that we can continue this positive trend throughout 2018.”
Visitors spent around $390 million in the destination in the first five months of the year, an increase by around $54 million year over year.
The 2018 boom comes after what was itself a strong year for the Cayman Islands last year, when the British Overseas Territory crossed 400,000 stayover visitors for the first time ever.
“Achieving great milestones for 2018 and beyond will be led by the vision of our National Tourism Plan, ongoing commitment to innovative strategic marketing practises, and working in partnership to identify and attract the right mix of visitors to our shores,” said Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism for the Cayman Islands.