Cayman is seeing double-digit growth in the number of tourists arriving on island this year, compared to last.
The Tourism Minister’s pitch to the Legislative Assembly on Friday (16 November) reflected on the sector’s growth, which has been on the up since 2013.
There was an 18.13% rise in visitors – both air and cruise – so far in 2018, in comparison to 2017, that translates as an increase of 296,018 extra tourists on the island.
An increase in tourist arrivals means an increase in revenue; the CI Department of Tourism said visitor spending for so-called “stayover” visitors has increased from $366.6 million in 2017 to $421.9 million in 2018 (between January and September).
Over that nine-month period, that works out as a 15.1% increase or $53.3 million.
Break that down to individual spend per visitor and it represents a 5.3% increase per person, from $183.50 to $193.90.
The tourism minister stressed to lawmakers the reasons this trend was so important:
“It speaks volumes when, not only do your arrivals increase, but what they spend increases. That says you’re not lowering the cost, you have a product they want and they’re prepared to pay more for it,” Tourism Minister Hon. Moses Kirkconnell stated.
Cruise figure spends, however, told a slightly different story, with per person spending down from $115 pp in 2015 to $105.17 in 2018.