July’s air arrivals up, cruise down

Air arrivals to the Cayman Islands for July of this year are up over 10 per cent on the previous year.

However, they are down nearly 19 per cent on July 2004, just before Hurricane Ivan sent tourist figures plummeting.

This year’s figure of 26,895 air tourists for July is up 10.9 per cent on 2006’s figure of 24,256.

It is also up 62 per cent on July 2005’s figure of 16,610, when stay-over tourism was in a slump following Hurricane Ivan, which damaged 90 per cent of buildings in Grand Cayman in September 2004.

This past July’s figure is 18.8 per cent down on July 2004, at 33,118, just before Hurricane Ivan. However, 2004 also represented a significant recovery for Cayman Islands’ stay-over tourism following 9/11’s dampening of the travel industry.

July 2007’s figure is similar to the post 9/11 recovery years of 2002 and 2003, at 28,844 and 26,491 respectively.

This past July’s figure is well down on the pre 9/11 months of July in 2001 and 2000. In July 2000 there were 34,004 tourist air arrivals, or 20.9 per cent more than this year, and in July 2001 there were 32,255 tourist air arrivals, or 16.6 per cent more than this past July.

For the year to date air arrivals are 8.7 per cent ahead of where they were last year: that’s 189,981 compared to a figure of 174,742 for last year (through July).

Within the different target markets, for the year so far, the US has grown by 6.2 per cent over the previous year; Europe has grown by 17.8 per cent; and Canada grew by 11.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, cruise tourism is down 11.06 per cent on July of last year. This past July there were 109,196 tourist cruise arrivals while last year there were 122,781 in the same month.

For the year to date, cruise tourism is marginally up on last year, by 1.17 per cent. So far this year there have been 1.18 million cruise passengers, while for the same period last year there were 1.17 million cruise passengers.

The year with the highest number of cruise arrivals in July was 2002, when there were 137,742, closely followed by 2003 when there were 132,933.

Regarding hotel accommodation, this past July has seen it at an average of 60.4 per cent occupancy, up 4.3 per cent on last year. It is down 3.5 per cent on 2004, and up on years 2001, 2002 and 2003, which were 58.1, 53.1 and 35.7 per cent respectively.

The years 1998, 1999 and 2000 had estimated respective occupancies of 74.3, 72.1 and 61.7 per cent for July.

Occupancy in apartments for July 2007 was 49.2 per cent average. This is up on every year since 2000, when it was 51 per cent. The highest occupancy rate in apartments for July in the past 10 years was in 1998 when it was 56.3 per cent

The average length of stay of visitors in a hotel was 5.2 days for this past July. This, along with the year 2003, is the second longest average stay in the past 10 years. The longest was in 2004, when it was 5.3 days. The shortest was July last year, at 4.6 days.

This past July’s length of stay in apartments, at 7.3 days, was the third longest average length of stay for that month in the past 10 years. The longest was in 2002, at 7.5 days, with the second longest, at 7.4 days, in 2003. The shortest length of stay in the apartment sector was in 2005, at 6.4, closely followed by last year, at 6.7 days.

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