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2018: A record-breaking year for tourist arrivals in Cayman

2018 saw the highest number of visitors to Cayman in a calendar year, taking the crown from 2006, which previously held the record.

That according to figures released by Tourism leaders on Friday (25 January.)

Cayman 27 has been breaking down those figures.

There were almost 2.5 million visitors to Cayman last year.

That worked out at just over an 11% increase over the same period in 2017, or almost 240,000 extra tourists.

And the figures were up for both cruise passengers and those arriving by air.

Those stay-over visitors were up 10.7%, closing in on half a million. And for cruise passengers, a touch over an 11% rise, to almost two million.

But there was also a significant milestone reached last year, as Director of Tourism Rosa Harris explained

“March and December are the peak months, welcoming over 50,000 passengers by air for the year. That’s a first for us, to exceed 50,000 in more than one month. March is usually our peak month, so that’s significant,” Ms. Harris pointed out.

But, it was not just about the number of visitors, as Ms. Harris revealed.

“As much as I love to talk about the numbers and us exceeding and having record-breaking visitors, we also have to look at the quality of the visitor: how much do they spend when they’re on island?” Ms. Harris asked.

She added: “do they take in not just Grand Cayman but Little Cayman and Cayman Brac? The quality of the visitor is equally important because you want them to come back and expand their experience each time they come.”

So how much did visitors spend on island last year?

Estimates put the total spend from tourists last year at over $880 million.

That was 12.5% more than last year or over  $98 million in cash terms.

About the author

Caroline James

Caroline James

Caroline joined Cayman 27 in September 2018 after seven years working for Sky News in London, both as a Producer on the World News programme and, latterly, as News Editor on the Foreign Desk, where she led coverage on the ground of stories as diverse as the 2016 US Election, corruption allegations surrounding FIFA and The Oscars. Before this, she worked as a Producer for Associated Press Television News (APTN) for two years, based in their London headquarters. Caroline graduated with a BA Hons degree in Arabic, French and German from Durham University, before gaining an MA in Television Journalism with distinction at City University, London. When not hunting down stories in Cayman, she can be found playing tennis, practicing Bikram yoga or enjoying a beer on Seven Mile Beach. You can reach Caroline at carolinejames@hurleysmedia.ky or 326-2243.

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