Air arrivals up

While tourist air arrivals are up on last year for the month of October, monthly cruise arrivals continue to be down on the previous year for the sixth month so far this year.

The latest tourism statistics released for the month of October by the Department of Tourism show that tourist air arrivals for the month are up on last year by 3.2 per cent.

For the year to date tourist air arrivals are up more significantly over last year: 8.5 per cent.

For the month of October this year there were 15,102 tourist air arrivals – that’s 468 tourists more than October last year when there were 14,634.

But, this year’s figure for October is down on the equivalent month in the post 9/11 years of 2002 and 2003, at 16,151 and 18,879. It is down 6.5 per cent on 2002 and 20 per cent on 2003.

The month immediately following 9/11 had 15,898 air tourists, or five per cent more than this October.

Back in the year 2000, before 9/11 and Hurricane Ivan, which damaged 90 per cent of buildings in Grand Cayman in September 2004, there had been over 21,000 air arrivals, 30 per cent more than this October.

So far this year (through October) there have been 236,021 air arrivals, compared to 217,596 from last year.

The target for the end of the year, mentioned at this year’s annual tourism conference, is 300,000. There are two months to go, November and December, to reach that goal.

Meanwhile, for the fifth month in a row and the sixth month in total this year, cruise tourism arrival figures are down on the equivalent months last year.

This past October there were 94,588 cruise passengers while last year in the same month there were 128,754. This represents a drop of 26.54 per cent.

For the year to date (through October) there have been 1.45 million cruise tourists, down 6.8 per cent on the figure at the same time last year, of 1.56 million.

Minister for Tourism Charles Clifford had not responded to questions on the tourist arrival statistics by press time.

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