Port Authority expects cruise passenger increase for 2010

The
Port Authority of the Cayman Islands has released a report that indicates
Cruise business will increase by 10 per cent in 2010 compared to last year’s
figures.

The
document was released by the Port Authority last week. It stated that despite a
difficult year, cruise business had only declined by 2.3 per cent in 2009
compared to 2008.

The
actual amount of cruise ship visitors during 2009 was 1,520,372. The new
document forecasts that 1,676,705 will come to Cayman on cruise ships during
2010. That is an increase of 156,333 passengers.

High
season

High
season months are expected to outperform last year significantly.

January
2010 is expected to see 174,980 visitors compared to last year’s 161,857.
February this year will see 155,030 in comparison to 2009’s actual visitors of
136,809,

March
2010 will hit 194,323 according to the document, an increase on last year’s
167,148. April could have 161,471 visitors, an increase of 23,000 on last
year’s 138,876.

Every
month in the traditionally lower season between May and October, however, is
forecast to dip below 2009’s numbers.

The
end of 2010 sees anticipated increases of around 40,000 visitors per month in
both November and December 2010 compared to the same times twelve months
earlier.

Caution

However,
the document also sounded a note of caution.

“2010
at this moment is showing a 10 per cent increase in traffic over 2009, but
weather and other factors beyond our control may affect the final outcome,”
read the report.

Capacity

Joseph
Woods of the Port Authority explained that the figures were derived from the
capacity of the vessels that are actually already scheduled and confirmed to visit
Grand Cayman over the next twelve months.

“Of
course as the year progresses you get weather problems or ships with technical
difficulties that affect us but if we have no impacts of that kind we will get
1.67 million.

“This
capacity figure average that we use is based on double occupancy and could go
up if families are on the ship sharing. So for example a capacity can be 2,500
based on double occupancy but you could find nearly 2,700 on it if there are
more than two passengers per room,” he explained.