Air arrival figures continued to soar in July and August, with tourism officials predicting the Cayman Islands could see year-end visitor numbers in excess of 400,000 for the first time in 2017.

July and August were both record breaking months, with a combined total of 77,030 visitors, according to the Department of Tourism.

Officials said July was the best month of the year so far, with 45,624 tourists touching down at Owen Roberts International Airport. Typically, March is the best month of the year for tourism in Cayman.

Officials were also happy with the August performance, which was nearly 10 percent higher than last year, suggesting the trend demonstrated their success in attracting increased visitation in what is typically a slower season.

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said, “We can be justly proud of these positive numbers which demonstrate that the strategies this government has implemented to boost the shoulder season and slower periods during summer are working well.

“I expected to see an uptick in arrivals for July and August from activities such as the Summer Only in Cayman and Culinary Promotions targeted at the USA, but actual results have surpassed all expectations. This is an excellent achievement for the destination.”

The U.S. remains the main source of visitors to Cayman and is the main market driving the increases, though there has also been an increase in tourism from Latin America. Arrival numbers from Europe, the U.K. and Canada are down.

Councilor for Tourism, David Wight said the increase was helping to offset the impact of a decline in cruise ship arrivals due to bad weather.

If you value our service, if you have turned to us in the past few days or weeks for verified, factual updates, if you have watched our live streaming of press conferences or sent an article to a friend... please consider a donation. Quality local journalism was at risk before the coronavirus crisis. It is now deeply threatened. Even a small amount can go a long way to sustaining our mission of informing the public. We need our readers’ financial support now more than ever.