Air arrivals plunge, cruise surge

The number of air arrivals continues its downward decline for the 13th straight month while cruise arrivals increased for the fifth straight month in a row.

The latest tourist arrival statistics for the Cayman Islands show September 2009’s air arrivals dropped 11.8 per cent on the same month the previous year to 9,115 while cruise arrivals for September 2009 are up 29.5 per cent on the previous year to 89,891.

Year to date numbers show air arrivals are down 13.1 per cent to 208,761 while cruise arrivals dropped 1.9 per cent on the previous year to 1.14 million.

September 2009’s air arrivals are the third lowest for the month in the last 10 years, only outperforming 2004, the same month and year Hurricane Ivan hit the Island and 2005 when the Island was still in recovery mode.

The highest number of air arrivals for September in the last ten years was in 2000 when 16,033 arrivals were recorded.

Within the main markets, in September 2009 the USA saw an 13.6 per cent drop in visitors from last year with the largest drop from the West coast at 23.4 percent, then the Southeast at 17.6 percent, and then the Midwest at 14.2 percent.

Air arrivals from Europe saw a 10.9 percent drop while Canada saw a 9.5 per cent drop.

September 2009’s cruise arrivals are the fourth highest for the month in the last 10 years.

The best performing September for cruise arrivals was in 2005 when there were 118,466 arrivals.