September air arrivals up

Tourist air arrivals have grown by 12.8 per cent this past September over the previous one.

And in general air arrivals are up nearly nine per cent for the year to date (through September) this year over last year.

This past September there were 11,457 air arrivals, up from 10,155 last year.

For the third quarter of this year (July, August and September) tourist air arrivals are up 10.2 per cent from 52,476 last year to 57,833 this year.

For the year to date air arrivals are 8.8 per cent ahead of where they were this time last year, with 220,919 so far this year compared to 202,962 this time last year.

At the recent annual tourism conference Director of Tourism Pilar Bush pointed out that the goal for air arrivals for this year is 300,000.

This means the islands need 79,000 stay-over visitors over the last quarter of the year to achieve this.

At the weekly media press briefing on Thursday Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford noted that there has been an increase in air arrivals every month since January 2006 up to the present, with the exception of April 2007 which was slightly down on April 2006.

With regard to the main stay-over tourist markets for this past September, the US market increased by 10.1 per cent over last year, Europe by 17.9 per cent, and Canada by a large 36.9 per cent.

So far this year (through September) the increases in those markets over last year have been: US, 6.3 per cent; Europe, 17.4 per cent; and Canada, 12.8 per cent.

The September 2007 figure for tourist air arrivals it is very similar to the Septembers experienced in 2001, 2002 and 2003, all which number in the 11,000s.

Before 9/11, September 2000 had seen 16,033 tourist air arrivals to these islands, some 28 per cent ahead of this past September.