Stay-over tourism arrivals hit record levels again in 2016, eclipsing the previous year’s total by just 73 visitors.

Arrivals have been on an upward trajectory for several years and despite the slender margin of growth, less than a plane-load of passengers, tourism officials said they are happy with the performance.

In total, 385,451 passengers arrived in the Cayman Islands by air in 2016, a 0.02 percent increase over last year.

Cruise arrival figures ended marginally down on last year, against expectations, after a slow December. A total of just over 1.7 million cruise passengers arrived in Grand Cayman in 2016.

“The steady increase in arrivals to the Cayman Islands in 2016, despite global issues impacting visitation to the entire region, is testament to the concerted trade and marketing efforts of the Department of Tourism, focused on strengthening brand awareness and desirability,” Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism Moses Kirkconnell said in a press statement.


  1. For ‘holds steady’ you should read stagnant. These figures are in marked contrast to the situation in most of the other major destinations in this region, many of whom have experienced substantial increases in tourist arrivals over recent years. Whatever excuses the Minister makes this is not cause for celebration but a sign of us steadily losing ground in the tourism market.

    As for ‘global issues impacting visitation to the entire region’? What nonsense! He should check the stats before making sweeping comments like that. In particular he should compare the Cayman Islands’ abysmal performance in the UK and European market with the successes being enjoyed amongst our neighbours. The fact that we’re not even picking up business from the problems affecting travel to popular UK/European tourist destinations in areas like Africa, the Red Sea and Southern Mediterranean should tell him something.

    The fact is that however much ‘effort’ and public money DoT throw at this problem they can’t overcome one basic problem – when it comes to tourism our competitors are not only doing a better job but they’re doing it cheaper. I would suggest that rather than these figures being some kind of ‘record’ they’re actually a sign of arrivals flat-lining.

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