Tourism arrivals plummet

Tourist air arrivals dropped again in October compared to the same month in the previous year, continuing a trend that has lasted 14 months now.

Cruise arrivals meanwhile dipped below last year’s figures for the first time since April.

The latest tourism statistics for the Cayman Islands show that October 2009’s air arrivals are down 13 per cent on the same month the previous year to 13,018 while cruise arrivals for October 2009 are down 6.85 per cent on the previous year, to 98,610.

For the year to date air arrivals are down 14.98 per cent on the previous year and cruise arrivals are down marginally by 2.2 per cent.

Cruise arrivals are likely to end up just over 1.5 million for the year, still considerably higher than all years prior to 2002.

October 2009’s air arrivals are the third lowest for the month in the past 10 years, only outperforming 2004 and 2005, the year of and immediately following Hurricane Ivan, which damaged 90 per cent of buildings on Grand Cayman in September 2004.

The strongest performing October in the past 10 years was back in 2000 when there were 21,684 air arrivals recorded. Prior to 2007, however, Pirates Week, Cayman’s national festival, was held during October, boosting the tourist arrivals for the month.. Pirates Week is now held in November.

Within the main markets, in October 2009 the USA saw a 12.5 per cent drop in visitors from last year with the largest drop from the Southeast at 27 per cent, then the West Coast at 19.8 per cent and then the Midwest at 18.3 per cent.

Arrivals from Europe saw a 10.4 per cent drop while Canada saw a 4.2 per cent drop.