The Cayman Islands eclipsed its tourism projections for 2022, buoyed by a sizzling second half after the destination removed its travel health protocols.
Overall, the Cayman Islands reported 284,274 stay over visitors, ahead of the government’s stated goals for the year.
While the year started off slowly, the August decision to lift travel restrictions led to soaring numbers; during the last quarter, arrivals were at 89 percent of pre-pandemic numbers.
For the full year, Cayman recorded 57 percent of its tourism arrivals in 2019, nearly 11 percent ahead of forecasts.
“Confidence in the destination due to our measured and phased approach to reopening post the COVID-19 lockdown led to pent up demand which accelerated our visitation volume once all travel restrictions were dropped,” said Rosa Harris, the Cayman Islands’ Director of Tourism. “The quality of our accommodations and attractions, retail offerings and restaurants as well as a vibrant events calendar, including such notable events as the Capella Music Festival, the Cayman Islands marathon and meetings and incentives groups continue to drive visitors to the destination.”
The United States was the destination’s strongest market, accounting for nearly 81 percent of all stay over visitors.
The United Kingdom was Cayman’s fastest-recovering market, with 77 percent of 2019’s totals.
On the cruise side, the destination welcomed 743,394 cruise passengers across 261 ships.
“Cruise tourism is the epicentre of Caymanian entrepreneurship representing a higher percentage of local business owners than any other aspect of tourism and is a vital part of our tourism offering,” said Cayman Islands Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan. “We’d like to thank our Partners in the Port Authority and our transport and water sports operators for their commitment to making the Cayman Islands a preferred destination for cruise passengers. We were pleased with the number of cruise visitors in 2022 and will continue to actively manage the volume of cruise both in terms of the quality of ships in port and the number of passengers who embark on our shores. We look forward to bringing cruise tourism back in a measured and sustainable way in 2023.”
The Cayman Islands is targeting a 70 percent tourism recovery in 2023.
“We anticipate that 2023 will be a momentous year for tourism with a full calendar year of visitors to allow us to reset our seasonality aligned with new expectations for travel post-pandemic,” Bryan said. “Our accommodation, restaurant and retail partners are primed to welcome guests, and we will continue strategic discussions with our airline partners to offer increased airlift to the destination to ensure a steady stream of visitors. We also look forward to working with or partners in cruise to further enhance and deliver an authentic destination experience.
For more, visit Cayman Islands.