An American male, professional, aged between 36 and 49, earning between $100,000 and $150,000 a year and a previous visitor to the Cayman Islands. That’s the statistical profile of the most common stay-over visitor to the Cayman Islands.
During a little over six days on island, he is almost certain to go to the beach, try snorkeling and visit restaurants. He is most likely to visit Stingray City, Rum Point and Camana Bay, but is less inclined to take a trip to the National Gallery or the National Museum.
Overall, he will spend $179.41 for every day he is on island.
The Department of Tourism figures, gleaned from 10-minute exit surveys with 1,324 stay-over visitors between January and June of this year, paint a detailed picture of the backgrounds and spending habits of visitors to these islands.
The vast majority of visitors quizzed in the tablet surveys rate their experience as very good, usually favorable compared to other destinations they have visited in the Caribbean. More than half say they plan to return to the Cayman Islands within two years.
If there are any gripes, customer experience surveys show, they are most likely to be about value for money.
One in eight visitors goes scuba diving, and just over 3 percent list it as the main reason for their trip. Divers and those visiting relatives are likely to take the longest trips, the data shows.
A surprising 12 percent of respondents said they did not go to the beach during their visit.
The U.S. is consistently the main source market for visitors, accounting for more than 80 percent of arrivals in the first half of the year, according to data from the Immigration Department. Europe, at 6.9 percent, and Canada, at 6.7 percent, are next.
Of potential significance to advocates for new cruise facilities, the survey results show that almost 10 percent of stay-over visitors previously came to the Cayman Islands on a cruise ship.
Though separate data shows that cruise visitors spend less and stay for shorter periods of time, usually just a day, Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell has argued that cruise arrivals also serve as a kind of direct marketing for the island.
Separate data, also released by the Department of Tourism in its biannual statistics report, shows there are currently 500 properties licensed to operate in the Cayman Islands with a total of 8,058 beds available to tourists.
Though visitor arrivals were down slightly for the period, hotels were charging more per-room and government revenue was up.
Mr. Kirkconnell said he expects arrival numbers to increase as more beds become available through the planned openings of the Kimpton and Margaritaville hotels this year.