November air arrivals solid

The tourist air arrivals figure for November 2006 is nearly 50 per cent up on last year and nearly on a par with November figures for previous years of 2001, 2002 and 2003.

The November 2006 figure of 22,276 reflects 7,297 more visitors than last year’s figure of 14,979. Last year’s figure reflects the country still recovering following an unwanted visitor in September 2004 – Hurricane Ivan. 2004’s low figure of 4,215 air arrivals reflects a post Hurricane Cayman.

Meanwhile, this year’s November figure is very close to figures for 2001, 2002 and 2003, at 23,070, 23,903 and 22,745.

The November 2000 figure, which reflects pre 9/11 tourism, was 29,214.

This November’s air arrivals figure also reflects the success of Pirates Week, which was held in November this year, and of the Cayman Jazz Fest, which began in late November. These two events are designed to encourage tourism figures to grow.

Meanwhile, for the year to date, barring December’s yet unknown air arrival figure, there have been 239,871 tourist air arrivals.

Originally, the goal for 2006 was to double 2005 numbers, which would mean over 330,000 visitors.

The newest goal set for the end of this year is 240,000 air arrivals, a figure which is now more or less reached.

So far this year to date (through November) air arrivals are up 64.1 per cent on last year’s figure of 146,210.

Since 2000 yearly air arrival figures have shown a steady decline to 2005: from 354,087 to 167,801 last year. Both 9/11 and Hurricane Ivan have to be factored into this decline.

Cruise arrivals for November 2006 stand at 160,373. This is down 9.18 per cent on last year’s figure of 1.76 million

Bad weather for a week last month permitted only three ships a day to call at Spotts Landing, leaving other scheduled ships no choice but to cruise on by.

However, November 2006’s cruise figure is still higher than most other years, except for 2003 when it was 163,955.

For the year to date (through November) this year’s cruise arrivals are 7.59 per cent up on last year’s figure of 1.58 million.

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