Cayman Islands Reports 7.2 Percent Increase in Overnight Visitors
By Brian Major
January 29, 2012 10:29 PM
The Cayman Islands hosted 309,091 overnight visitors in 2011, a 7.2 percent increase over 2010 and the Cayman Islands’ highest overnight guest total in 10 years, said McKeeva Bush, the country’s premier and minister for finance, tourism and development. The Cayman Islands hosted 33,353 visitors in December 2011, a 6.3 percent increase over the 31,391 arrivals recorded in December of 2010, and the highest total for any December since 2000.
Speaking at a Cayman Islands business conference earlier this month, Bush said the increased 2011 totals continue a positive trend established over the last several months. “[Overnight] tourism arrivals have been positive for 26 months out of the last 28,” he said. “So out of the last two years and four months we have been positive for two years and two months, when other destinations have had negative arrival figures.”
Still, the Cayman Islands’ cruise traffic declined in 2011 as land-based arrivals grew. “Unfortunately our cruise arrivals for the month of December continued to fall, registering a 9.2 percent decline [compared with] December 2010, and an overall 12.3 percent decline year to date,” said Bush. Of 24 countries reporting arrival statistics, said Bush, only four recorded increases in excess of 7 percent -- the Cayman Islands’ increase was exceeded only by Cuba and Curacao.
“We can be proud of these positive numbers, which are the result of plans and strategies this government has been putting in place,” he said, “both in response to the continuing effects of the global recession, as well as from our own forward-thinking and long-term strategic approach.”