The Tourism Ministry came out with big numbers about this year’s number of visitors, 209,000 so far this year. But those numbers don’t necessarily tell the whole story of how Cayman is doing in tourism.
The tourism slow season is starting to get moving for Cayman Segway Tours. “May was not so good compared to last year. But things are picking up in June with is good for business,” said the company’s co-owner Sade Wood. The Tourism Ministry reported a 22 % increase in tourism in May over last year numbers, including a 30 % increase in cruise arrivals. Ms. Wood said those numbers don’t necessarily reflect in the amount of tourist dollars coming into her business. “A lot of people are coming to the Cayman Islands but they aren’t necessarily spending. For whatever reason. I think it’s because they get everything all-inclusive on the ship. They spend less on the island because they get everything on the ship,” said Ms. Wood.
The Tourism Ministry is saying there has been a CI $45 million increase in visitor spending, a total of CI $325 million in visitor spending for the year. Management at Calico Jack’s Restaurant said business is up, and is coming in steady. Margaritaville Hotel shared in this opinion.
“There are times we had to close out our bookings. Because we just don’t have the supply to meet the demand. And that’s because many of the islands are down from the hurricanes of last year,” said Head of Marketing at Margaritaville Beach Resort Cayman Island. One of the differences Margaritaville management says it has noticed is that bookings are coming in more often at the last minute, rather than being scheduled ahead of time.
Some of Cayman’s tourist guides are hoping the increase in stayover guests will mean additional business for their organizations as well. “I want to see the slow season become the high season. And the high season becomes the higher season,” said tourist guide Marcus Ebanks. With how the numbers are progressing this is a possibility, but only time will tell if this will become a reality.
According to the Tourism Ministry, May had a 22 % increase in visitors over last year. That is the 14th consecutive month airplane arrivals have surpassed the previous year’s numbers.