By Frank Martin
TTC service. -The Caribbean tenacity in its objective of maintaining its crucial Tourism industry stable resulted in tourist arrivals to the Caribbean increasing by 9.7% during the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
According to a report from the Caribbean Tourism Organization released last week at the World Travel Market in London this month, the increase was more than double the world average of 4.4%.
The president of CTO, Dominic Fedee, said that he said at the prestigious London tourist event that from January to June tourist visits to the Caribbean increased by 1.5 million to 17.1 million compared to last year.
The growth was mainly driven by the US market, which increased 20.2%, totaling a record 8.9 million in the first half.
Around 2.1 million Canadian tourists stayed in the region during the first half of this year, an increase of 2.4% compared to the same period in 2018.
However, the report warned that the European market did not grow.
It remained stable, registering a marginal increase of 0.4% to 2.9 million trips, with a fall of the United Kingdom market of 1.7%, mainly due to significant falls in Cuba, which fell by 22%, and the Dominican Republic, which fell by 15.3%.
The CTO clarified that a variety of factors supported the gains achieved so far this year.
These factors were a greater air capacity between the region and the main markets, expansions in the housing sector and a positive positioning of the destination brands in the various markets of origin.
Cruise tourism to the region experienced a new record of 16.7 million cruise visits during the period, after an average jump of 1.3 million year-over-years.
The current estimated growth rate of cruise tourism of 8.1% eclipsed that of similar periods in the last four years.
“The solid results recorded in the first half reflect the resilience of individual destinations and demonstrate their ability to skillfully navigate global political and economic concerns, including Brexit and ongoing trade wars that threaten the stability of the global economy.” said the organization.
Trends for the remainder of the year reveal an increase of between 5% and 7% in tourist arrivals and a 4% to 5% increase in cruise passenger visits.