the ritz-carlton grand cayman on the beach
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

Visitors Are Flocking to the Cayman Islands Right Now 

By: Dana Niland - July 23, 2023

From the reefs of Owen Island to the world-class eateries on Seven Mile Beach, the Cayman Islands is in the midst of a full-fledged tourism renaissance. 

The Cayman Islands is continuing see a strong tourism recovery, according to newly-released data from the Ministry of Tourism. 

Stayover arrivals between January and June 2023 stood at 235,370 visitors, equating to 84 percent of visitor arrivals during the corresponding period in 2019, according to Cayman Islands Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan. 

“Tourism performance over the first half of the year has surpassed expectations and underscores the significant rebound in our tourism industry,” said Bryan. “Revenue collection influenced by the increase in the Average Daily Rate of accommodations over the past year is indicating a strong and sustained interest in the Cayman Islands as a premier travel destination.”

The Caribbean Club in Cayman.

“As is customary, the United States made up 83.6 percent of total visitation, followed by Canada registering 7.5 percent,” Bryan continued. “Europe accounted for 4.4 percent of visitor arrivals which is similar to the figures recorded in 2019.”

The Cayman Islands tourism success was bolstered by robust performance in traditional source markets as well as emerging regions, showcasing the destination’s appeal to a wide range of travelers seeking diverse experiences. 

Efforts to improve air connectivity have also paid off significantly. 

Additional new flights and direct connections have given visitors more options for accessing their destination, resulting in increased bookings and enhanced convenience for business and leisure travelers, most notably the landmark new service between Los Angeles and Grand Cayman, which kicked off at the end of last year.

Cruise passenger arrivals for the first half of the year amounted to 738,462 passengers, or 73 percent of 2019’s pre-pandemic visitation numbers.

cayman islands tourism eclipses
The Southern Cross Club in Little Cayman.

Based on the current trend, the Ministry expects to surpass the revenues collected in 2019, which was the highest year on record.

Between January and June 2023, tourism levy revenue amounted to $35 million, $15 million ahead of the mid-year projection and $3.6 million over the target anticipated for the full year. 

cayman brac bluff
The Bluff in Cayman Brac.

This means the level of revenue anticipated for the full year has already been surpassed within the first 6 months.

“These figures, particularly the outstanding revenue collections demonstrate the resilience and adaptability of the Cayman Islands tourism industry,” said Director of Tourism, Rosa Harris. “I am thrilled to see the numbers are ahead of our projections for the first half of 2023, particularly since revenue and visitation targets for 2022 were also exceeded.”

“As we look ahead to the remainder of 2023,” Harris said, “I am optimistic about sustaining this positive growth trajectory and maintaining the Cayman Islands’ position as a leading travel destination in the Caribbean. The Department of Tourism is also working hard to build on this momentum by continuing to implement innovative strategies to attract more visitors to our shores.”

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