It’s been a banner year so far for tourism in the Cayman Islands, and the numbers continue to climb for what is one of the hottest destinations in the wider Caribbean.
The tri-island destination has seen 386,290 stayover visitors through the first three quarters of 2019, representing a 10.3 percent increase over the same period in 2018.
That number is among the fastest growth rates of any destination in the Caribbean, according to data from the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s most recent report.
Last month, in what is typically a slow month for the region, Cayman posted a 5.76 percent increase compared to October 2018.
Overall, the growth has been led by a 10.5 percent increase from the all-important United States market, which sent Cayman 325,696 visitors so far this year, a jump of 10.5 percent.
“It is reaffirming to hear first-hand the positive impact our stayover strategy is having on stimulating tourism businesses’ profit margin during what we consider traditional shoulder season,” said Cayman Islands Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell.
And visitors are spending, too.
Stayover visitors have spent more than $560.9 million so far this year, itself an 11.3 percent increase over the first nine months of 2018, according to new data from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. (That represented an increase of $57.1 million).
“The Ministry has been steadfast in its commitment to our sector and the community at large to create more opportunities for entrepreneurship, training and development for those interested in tourism related endeavours, endeavours that largely rely on air arrivals to maintain a successful business model,” Kirkconnell said.
The numbers come as the Cayman Islands recently announced that it had topped 7,000 total accommodation units,, a significant milestone and a strong harbinger for Cayman’s continued growth.
The tourism improvement has been buoyed by several factors, from a continued, robust marketing push to a rapid expansion in airlift over the last several years.
The latter was punctuated by the debut earlier this year of Grand Cayman’s brand new airport terminal, christened during a visit to the island by Prince Charles.
And the improvements have not gone unnoticed by investors.
Indeed, Cayman has become a leading destination for luxury hotel brands.
That means new hotels on the way ranging from a Curio Collection by Hilton on the edge of George Town to the highly-anticipated Mandarin Oriental project to a new Grand Hyatt-branded residential resort on the island’s world-famous Seven Mile Beach.
For more, visit the Cayman Islands.