Air arrivals still flying high

Tourist air arrivals are continuing to increase, with July recording the highest figure for that month across the past 14 years.

Statistics released by the Department of Tourism last week show that 39,193 visitors landed in July, nearly a 16 percent increase year-over-year for the month.

The monthly figures are the second highest this year; 44,205 visitors arrived in March.

Overall, summer arrivals increased almost 12 percent over last year.

February is the only month so far this year that did not see a record-breaking number – 33,790 – as 2001 still holds the highest number at 34,008 for the month.

Data from the Immigration Department shows an increase in the number of families visiting Cayman, and that arrivals from the United States jumped by 3,632.

Director of Tourism Rosa Harris said creative overseas initiatives, such as street art in London and an ice cream truck in New York, helped reach target audiences.

In June, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism took to the streets of New York, dispensing free ice cream, as reported by Travel Weekly, and in July the tourism department brought a splash of color to London streets with a unique piece of 3-D artwork depicting Stingray City.

“Both were creative ideas that positively impacted our potential visitors in unexpected ways, a tactic that further positions the Cayman Islands as the destination of choice for travelers seeking an idyllic Caribbean experience,” Ms. Harris said.

Cayman Islands Tourism Association president Kenneth Hydes said the association had been encouraged by the “stellar arrivals” Cayman has enjoyed so far this year.

“Our members are pleased to be part of a number of collaborations and promotions with the Department of Tourism each year,” Mr. Hydes said. “These partnerships allow our private sector to showcase the strengths of our diverse industry, such as our accommodations, attractions, water sports and dive offerings …”

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said the numbers are wonderful and represent the hard work of the Department of Tourism in recognizing the trends of family travel.

“They have consistently targeted this niche group, and we are pleased to now be seeing the fruits of their labor in this regard,” Mr. Kirkconnell said. “The DoT is tasked each year to increase visitation and has done an exceptional job, as demonstrated by the consistent trend of increases in air arrivals.”

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