Canada sent 3.1m to Caribbean in 2013 but growth slowest since 1997

Canada sent 3.1m to Caribbean in 2013 but growth slowest since 1997CHARLOTTE AMALIE, St. Thomas — Canada has been a star performer for the Caribbean in the past decade or so as airlines and tour operators added more and more flights and destinations.

But last year the Canadian market took a breather.

“Canadian stay-over visitors to the region increased by a small 0.7% in 2013 over 2012,” said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Chairman, Caribbean Tourism Organization, in her State of the Industry Report.

This was the lowest year-over-year growth in this market since 1997.

“This performance reflected the fact that the number of Canadians taking international trips, except to the U.S., was virtually flat in 2013,” she added.

Still, some 3.1 million Canadians visited the Caribbean, nearly 10% of our population and one quarter the size of the U.S. market (with 10 times the population and closer to the Caribbean than Canada) that sent 12.3 million visitors to the region last year.

Despite overall growth in visitors of just 1.8% last year, Nicholson-Doty said the state of the Caribbean’s tourism industry is solid, with positive signs that a recovery is in progress.