Following a rebound year for Caribbean travel with increased competition throughout the region, the Cayman Islands has maintained its market share with another year of record-breaking statistical arrivals.
At the close of 2018, total visitation surpassed all previous years of recorded visitation including 2006, which previously held the record for the highest number of total visitors in a calendar year.
Total arrivals for 2018 in both air and cruise visitation was 2,384,058, which is an 11 per cent increase over the same period in 2017 (237,211 additional persons).
This significant increase in visitation positively impacted the local economy with an uptick in visitor spend, increasing by US$ 98 million over 2017.
The estimated total visitor spend in 2018 was US$ 880 million, an increase of 12.5 per cent.
Cayman Islands minister of tourism, Moses Kirkconnell, shared: “The mandate of the ministry and department of tourism is to facilitate annual growth in visitation and economic contribution; my ministry pursues this strategically each year.
“Through creative promotions, partnerships, and continued collaboration with our industry stakeholders, we have maintained the significant accomplishment of continuous record-breaking years.
“Our government has committed to investment in our points of entry at the cruise port and airports.
“These much-needed upgrades will benefit of tourism operators, businesses, visitors and residents.”
In 2018, the USA, Canada, and LATAM had the most impact on arrival numbers.
The month of December is noted as the best on record, with a 6.15 per cent increase of stayover arrivals with the destination receiving over 50,000 fuelled primarily by the North American markets.