September arrivals low

Tourist air arrival statistics for September are down 10.4 per cent on the same month for 2002 and 2003 when the country was recovering from 9/11.

Now the country is still trying to recover its tourism arrival figures since Hurricane Ivan hit in September 2004.

This past September’s figures, recently released by the Department of Tourism, reflect the month being traditionally the slowest tourist month of the season, with a mere 10,155 arrivals, while nearly all other months are in the 20,000s.

September 2006’s 10,155 tourist air arrivals compares to 11,333 in 2002 and 11,336 in 2003. In 2001 the figure was 11,940 while pre-9/11, in 2000, September’s figure was 16,033, making this year’s figure 36.7 per cent down on that.

This year’s figure is 19.5 per cent up on that of last year’s, which was 8,495. And, this year’s figure is over double what it was in September 2004 (4,982) when Hurricane Ivan hit.

So far this year there have been 202,961 tourist air arrivals in the Cayman Islands.

The most recent target figure for the end of this year, given at the annual Tourism Conference, is for 240,000 air arrivals. The original target of doubling 2005 figures (or getting 330,000 air arrivals) does not now seem possible with only three months left to be accounted for. While 2006 saw a very good winter season, results for summer were not as good as expected.

Cruise tourist arrival figures for September 2006 stand at 110,971. This is a 6.33 per cent drop on September 2005’s figure of 118,466. Last September’s figure was the highest on record for the month, the next highest being 2003 when there were 113,258 passengers in the month.

So far (through September) there have been 1.43 million cruise passengers this year.

Last year for the same period (through September) there had been 1.36 million cruise passengers, down 5.49 per cent on the current figure for this year.

Last year there were nearly 1.8 million cruise passengers for the entire year.

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