Arrivals climbing but still down

Although December 2005’s air tourist arrival figure of 21,588 is nearly double that of the previous year’s equivalent, it is still down nearly 25 per cent on the December figure immediately following 9/11.

December 2004’s figure for air tourist arrivals stood at a measly 11,201, so December 2005’s figure is up 92.8 per cent on this.

December is traditionally a very busy month for tourism in the Cayman Islands. In December 2004 the island was in recovery mode following Hurricane Ivan’s near direct hit the previous September. Since then air arrival figures have been very slowly rising.

Going back to when tourism was at a historic low following 9/11, the following December’s figure showed there were 28,049 air arrivals to the Cayman Islands that month. The previous December there had been 35,806 tourist air arrivals here. However, since 2001, December’s figure had started to climb again. In 2002 it was at 29,060 and in 2003 it was at 30,848.

December was certainly the busiest month for air arrivals in 2005, the closest was March when they were at 18,810.

For 2005 the total number of air arrivals was 167,801, down 35.4 per cent on 2004’s total of 259,929.

In 2004 air arrival figures for the first eight months of the year were climbing back up towards pre 9/11 figures, until September when Ivan hit.

The number of tourist cruise arrivals for December 2005 was 200,434, the second highest figure for this month in the past five years. The figure for December 2003 was some 6,000 people higher, at 206,791.

The cruise arrival figure for December 2004 was 191,281, with 2005’s equivalent up on this 4.79 per cent.

For the year 2005 in general there were just fewer than 1.8 million cruise passengers in the Cayman Islands. This is 6.24 per cent up on the previous year’s figure of just below 1.7 million passengers.

2003 has the highest overall cruise tourist arrival figure in the past five years, at 1.8 million passengers.

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