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An aerial view of Grand Cayman

Cayman Islands reports nine-month increase in visitor spend

An aerial view of Grand Cayman

The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism in its ‘9 Month Desination Snaptshot’ reported that for the nine-month period January — September 2019, total visitor spend increased by US$51.8 million when compared to the same period last year to reach US$700.9 million, representing an 8.0 per cent increase year over year.

“It is reaffirming to hear first-hand the positive impact our stayover strategy is having on stimulating tourism businesses’ profit margin during what we consider traditional shoulder season,” a press release quotes Cayman Islands Minister of Tourism Moses Kirkconnell.

“The ministry has been steadfast in its commitment to our sector and the community at large to create more opportunities for entrepreneurship, training and development for those interested in tourism-related endeavours, endeavours that largely rely on air arrivals to maintain a successful business model.  My Government strongly supports the dedicated work of the Department of Tourism to increase visitation to, and awareness of, the Cayman Islands around the globe to ensure that we maximise opportunities that create positive impacts to our sector and the businesses within this market,” he added.

In particular, for 2019, stayover visitor spend increased by 11.3 per cent, moving from US$503.8 million last year to US$560.9 million at the end of September, and accounted for US$57.1 million in visitor spend. Stayover arrivals rose by 10.3 per cent over the nine-month period in 2018 and peaked at 386,290 tourists.

“It is reaffirming to hear first-hand the positive impact our stayover strategy is having on stimulating tourism businesses’ profit margin during what we consider traditional shoulder season.”

— Cayman Islands Minister of Tourism Moses Kirkconnell

On the other hand, when compared to 2018, cruise ship visitor spend fell by US$5.3 million or 3.6 per cent and reached US$140 million at the end of September. This resulted from a 5.9 per cent decline in cruise ship arrivals which, for the nine-month period, totalled 1,332,159.

In terms of accommodations, 1,062 guest house bookings; 2,716 hotel reservations; and 3,198 apartment rentals contributed to a total of 6,974 bedroom reservations from January — September 2019.

Overall, total visitors fell to 1,718,449 at the end of September, declining by 2.7 per cent year over year.