Tourism figures in free fall

Tourist air arrivals for April fell nearly seven per cent while cruise arrivals fell over nine per cent.

For the year through April tourist air arrivals have dropped 12.5 per cent while cruise arrival numbers plunged 14.5 per cent.

For the month of April 2009 there were 27,973 air arrivals or 2,000 less than in April 2008.

In April 2009 there were 138,876 cruise arrivals, 14,173 less passengers than arrived the same month in 2008.

The month, however, did draw more air arrivals than four of the past seven Aprils, including the first two post-9/11 years of 2002 and 2003; the post-Hurricane Ivan year of 2004; and 2007.

April 2009 has the third lowest number of tourist cruise arrivals in the past 10 years with only 2000 and 2001 having lower numbers.

For the year to date there have been 109,053 tourist air arrivals – 15,575 less than the same time last year.

For the year so far there have been 604,760 cruise arrivals – 102,282 less than the same period last year.

In September of last year air arrivals began to fall following a long spell of year-over year growth since Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.

Air arrivals have continued to decline every month since September.

Cruise arrivals began their decline in early 2006.