Cruise up in August

Cruise visitors were up by 15,500
in August compared to the same month last year.

The increase of 16.6 per cent meant
the busiest August since 2006, when 144,179 cruisers visited the Island. The
2010 figures are sixth best over the last 10 years.

Joseph Woods, manager of Cruise
Operations & Security for the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands,
explained that two more cruise ships visited Cayman this August and that the
ships had been fuller this year.

“We gained Celebrity Solstice &
Emerald Princess, but we also lost one; Disney Magic. We had 37 calls this
August, compared to 32 last August. It is the effect of the two additional
ships, which produced more calls and passengers, even though Disney Magic did
not call this August.

“We have had seven more calls
between January and August 2010 than in the same period of 2009. I also noticed
that Carnival ships have been running at full capacity and Royal Caribbean
Cruises, Limited’s vessels are very near to capacity,” said Mr. Woods.

The third quarter of 2010 so far
has seen 231,192 cruisers. By contrast, 208,105 visited in August 2009. There
have been 1,097,532 visitors to Cayman so far by ship in 2010. According to
statistics released by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, 90 per cent of
passengers disembark from ships and spend an average of US$96.78 while on
shore, which makes an estimated $95,597,232 so far this year spent by cruisers
whilst on Cayman.


Air down

Air arrivals, however, were down
marginally on 2009 figures. 19,097 came into the Cayman Islands this August,
which was 134 fewer than the same time last year. The third quarter to date
shows a 7.3 improvement over 2009, with 48,300 rather than 45,006 visitors coming

Dive company boss Stephen Broadbelt
of Ocean Frontiers told the Compass that air arrivals had not seen significant
boosts over the last 15 years.

“They continue to fluctuate in the
250 to 350k range, equating to approximately 1.5 per cent market share in the
region, ranking Cayman in the 15th to 20th place or the lower half of
destination performance in the region.

“Cayman does not want to be in the
top five or mass tourism destinations, but there are destinations in the six to
15th spots that we gain market share from and push our air arrivals beyond the
400,000 threshold,” he said.

Mr. Broadbelt added that increases
to the United States population and macroeconomic factors in America continued
to influence visitation. According to Department of Tourism statistics, 81 per
cent of all air visitors to the Cayman Islands have come from the United States
so far in 2010, with 6.1 per cent originating in Canada and 6.5 per cent from

The Department of Tourism counts
all visitors to Owen Roberts International Airport as tourist arrivals for the
purpose of their arrival reports.

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