The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) says the catastrophic hurricanes that devastated some Caribbean destinations last September slowed down tourism’s progress but did not stop it.
Ryan Skeete, the CTO’s acting director of research at a news conference streamed to a global audience last week that the Caribbean reached the 30 million-mark in stay-over arrivals for the first time ever last year, even as the region battled the effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as Hurricane Harvey, which lashed parts of the United States, the Caribbean’s primary market.
In addition, there was record spend by visitors, who contributed US$37 billion to Caribbean economies during the 12-month period, up 2.6 percent over 2016, Skeete said.
The tourism researcher said that stay-over arrivals were on track for a strong performance during the first-half of 2017, growing by an estimated 4.8 percent.
But he said growth was curtailed in the second half of the year by the storms, which were largely responsible for 1.7 percent drop between July and December.
Source: Caribbean Life