WILLEMSTAD — International tourist arrivals in the Caribbean continue to be strong with a 5.8% increase through June, outpacing all major regions of the world.
Caribbean Tourism Organization Chairman Hon. Richard L. Sealy presented the latest stats at the CTO’s State of the Industry Conference last week in Curacao.
For the first six months of the year the Caribbean welcomed 14.8 million visitors, approximately 800,000 or 5.8% higher than the same period in 2014, and well above the 4.1% recorded globally.
The Caribbean share of global arrivals stood at 2.8%.
The Dutch Caribbean saw the fastest relative growth across the sub-regions in the first six months of 2015 with an 8.5% increase in arrivals.
The Canadian market continues to perform well to the Caribbean, said Sealy, with 2.1 million visits during the period.
The U.S. remains the Caribbean’s main market with 7.3 million U.S. tourist visits between January and June, representing a 5.3% rise.
Room occupancy in the first half of the year stood at 74.6% up from the 72% in the same period last year.
Both room rates and revenue increased during this time, with room revenue collected in the sector rising 9.2%. The available room stock across the region also increased by 1.5%.
Cruising in the Caribbean was also in high demand up to the end of June. There were an estimated 13.7 million cruise passenger visits to region in the first six months, a 3% increase.
“The numbers suggest that the prospects for Caribbean tourism are good, and we remain cautiously optimistic that we will maintain the pace during the second half,” said Sealy. The CTO’s research department projects 5 – 6% growth this year, he added.