NEW YORK — It’s been a healthy first quarter for the
Caribbean region, which recorded a 24% rise in arrivals from the U.S. and an
overall 12% increase in arrivals, according to statistics compiled by the
Caribbean Tourist Organization.
During an update to media as part of CTO’s Caribbean Week
events in New York, CTO chairman Dominic Fedee reported that the region
welcomed 9.1 million visitors from January through March, up by 970,000 over
the same period in 2018.
The Q1 numbers indicate healthy economic conditions in key
source markets and a strong resurgence of tourism in destinations impacted by
the 2017 hurricanes, said Fedee.
The U.S. was the strongest-performing market with 4.5
million visitors, followed by Canada’s 1.5 million visitors, 4% higher than the
same period a year ago.
Europe was relatively flat, registering a 0.6% increase for
1.6 million arrivals, led by the U.K. and followed by Germany.
The Caribbean market, up 1.8%, and Latin America, up 1.6%,
also recorded growth although at a slower pace than the major markets.
The arrivals growth extended to the cruise sectorl, with a
record 10.7 million cruise passenger visits, a jump of 9.9% (an addition of 900,000).
“Coupled with a 1.4% rise in available airline seats
during Q1 2019, bringing to 12.4 million the number of seats for the region,
the CTO is bullish in its forecast for the year,” Fedees said.
“We’re predicting an 8% to 9% increase in tourist
arrivals this year, along with a cruise arrival growth of between 5.5% to 6.5%.”
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