By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Cayman Islands is seeing torrid tourism growth, according to the latest numbers from the destination’s Department of Tourism.
The Cayman Islands reported 463,001 stayover visitors in 2018, a jump of 10.66 percent — meaning a total increase of 44,598 visitors compared to the previous year — a new record for the destination.
That included two record-breaking months — March and December, when the destination welcomed more than 50,000 stayover visitors in each month.
Visitor spend rose to $880.1 million, a jump of 12.5 percent over the previous year.
The growth was fueled in large part by strong demand from the United States market, which posted a 13.01 percent in visitors to the Cayman Islands.
“The mandate of the Ministry and Department of Tourism is to facilitate annual growth in visitation and economic contribution; my Ministry pursues this strategically each year,” said Cayman Islands Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell. “Through creative promotions, partnerships, and continued collaboration with our industry stakeholders, we have maintained the significant accomplishment of continuous record-breaking years. Our government has committed to investment in our points of entry at the Cruise Port and Airports. These much-needed upgrades will benefit of tourism operators, businesses, visitors and residents. My focus is to ensure that all subjects in my ministry portfolio operate efficiently and effectively to support the tourism sector. These results are an excellent indicator of the work accomplished in 2018.”
Overall, the Cayman Islands has seen 21 consecutive months of stayover arrival growth.
Combining air and cruise totals, the Cayman Islands welcomed 2,384,058 visitors, which was an 11.05 percent increase over the calendar year in 2017.
“The Department of Tourism goal of source market diversification coupled with the ongoing development of new routes to the destination and innovative marketing plans has continued to drive the record-breaking successes for the Cayman Islands and will continue in 2019,” said Cayman Islands Director of Tourism Rosa Harris. “Noting that aviation is vital to driving visitation our global team remains committed to increasing capacity and are particularly excited to be officially opening the Denver, Colorado route in March with Cayman Airways. As a gateway for the West Coast, we look forward to welcoming many new visitors from Colorado and new cities from the United States in 2019 to add to another year of success for the Cayman Islands.”