More than two million people claimed their slice of Cayman-kind last year, according to fresh figures from the Department of Tourism.
While cruise arrivals approached a high water mark last seen almost a decade ago, air arrivals showed more modest growth.
“We haven’t seen this sort of growth or these sort of numbers since 2007,” said Tourism Councillor Joey Hew. He said efforts to bridge the gaps between the busiest parts of the season are paying off.
“During the winter season we had no issues, the hotels are full, so it’s in those shoulder periods between our winter season and our dive season that we have to fill those gaps with events and other programmes to attract persons here,” said Mr. Hew.
Overall, the DOT said tourism grew by 5.5% over 2014, with cruise arrivals leading the way, reaching the 1.7 million passenger mark for the first time since 2007. Air arrivals saw a slight increase, breaking last year’s record high by less than a percent.
“What we have to do now is continue to help develop more room inventory so we can continue some level of sustainable growth in the near future,” said Mr. Hew.
He told Cayman 27 improving the country’s tourism infrastructure is the key to building on 2015’s numbers in the future.
“We are doing the road developments, we’re doing the airport development, we’re looking at port development, and at the same time we are working with investors to continue to develop new attractions and new room inventory,” said Mr. Hew.
He said hotel projects like the Kimpton Seafire and others will boost room stock just in time to capitalise on added airlift from airport improvements.
Mr. Hew said events like Cayman cookout, the Cayfilm festival, and summer athletics programmes are helping to shore up the slower months.