Arrival statistics posted by the Department of Tourism reveal just how tourism was affected in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.
The statistics show that for September 2004 air arrival statistics were at 5,017, compared to the whole month of September for each of the previous three years being in the 11,000s.
Cruise statistics for September 2004 show 41,596 passengers for the first 10 days of September, which is actually well over half the cruise arrivals for the whole month of September in 2001 (64,890) and 2002 (69,328). The figure for the month of September 2003 is 113,258.
Total air arrivals for September 2004 are down 55.7 per cent on 2003’s figure of 11,336 while September’s total cruise arrival figure is down 63.27 per cent on the previous year.
Despite the arrival of Hurricane Ivan on September 11, air arrival figures for the third quarter of 2004 (61,684) are actually up 2.4 per cent on air arrival figures for the same period in 2003 (60,249).
However, the total cruise figure for the third quarter of 2004 (283,930) is down 20.7 per cent for the same period in 2003 (358,066).
DoT explains on its website that the stay-over arrival figures for September 2004 include both regular visits between 1 September through 10 September 2004, along with the arrival of relief workers and related authorised travel immediately following the hurricane, that is from September 13 through September 30. This could have included some people authorised to enter the Cayman Islands to check on their properties and media personnel.