Airlift and roomstock: two important factors that combine to fuel Cayman’s tourism sector.
Tourism Councillor Joey Hew told Cayman 27 in recent years, Cayman is often sold to capacity in the high season, limiting the island’s tourism growth.
“We had very small growth last year, that is just because we had no new room inventory, now we have the Kimpton online, we have a few rooms open at the Margaritaville, we will start to see the numbers climb,” said Mr. Hew. “So far this year we are right on target, and we believe that with no unforeseen circumstances like zika, or anything else like that, that we will have a decent growth this year.”
Outside the high season, Mr. Hew said the country is working to attract visitors to our islands.
“When we get into the summer months, and when we get into that little tips right after Christmas, just after Easter, we continue to focus on those with conferences, sports tourism, film tourism, other initiatives,” he explained.
He said in April and May, Cayman will look to expand its airlift to the midwest and western United States.
“Cayman Airways will start flying in twice a week out of Dallas, and that’s really going after those who mainly focus on diving during the summer months when the water is really clear,” he said.
Mr. Hew described the Cuban tourism market as levelling out, which could create opportunities within in our cruise sector.
“Cuba just opens up more ports to allow more five-day cruises,” said Mr. Hew. “Those ships tend to arrive friday through monday rather than during the belly of the week, Tuesday Wednesday Thursday, when we get the seven day cruises.”
He said he’s confident our product stacks up well across the region.
“We certainly have our niche in the market,” he said.
January’s tourism figures are in, and so far, Cayman has welcomed 31,634 stayover visitors.
That’s pretty close to the three-year average for the month.
On the cruise side, 181,090 passengers were recorded for January, the lowest number for that month since 2011.