Record Tourism Growth

By Linda Straker

Grenada is among the top five destinations in the Caribbean which registered double-digit growth for 2014 in terms of visitor arrivals.

According to the Caribbean Tourism Organisation the top five performing destinations in tourist arrivals growth were Turks and Caicos Islands (40.6%), Grenada (18.4%), Montserrat (13.5%), Cayman Islands (10.8%) and Haiti (10.8%), registering double-digit increases.

“Some of the contributing factors to the successes were increased airline seat capacity, improved airport facilities to accommodate larger aircrafts and more passengers, increased room stock as recognized hotel chains established themselves in the destinations and launched new initiatives in the marketplaces to attract more tourists,” said the CTO annual report which was released on Tuesday.

The report said that Tourists from the traditional markets to the Caribbean came in larger numbers in 2014. The Canadian market improved the most, followed by the US market. “The highest growth rates of Canadian arrivals were experienced by Grenada (46.8%), Curacao (29.7%), St. Kitts & Nevis (26.9%), Montserrat (20.1%) and The Bahamas (17.7%),” said the report which was presented by CTO chairman, Richard Sealy during a news conference where officials from the CTO presented the state of the Caribbean Tourism.

The report further explained that outbound travel from the United States to international destinations increased by 6.2% and to the Caribbean by 9.6% by the end of November, according to data from the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries. Data collected from Caribbean destinations showed that the region received an estimated 12.9 million tourists from its main supplier (49.1% of total tourist arrivals) of tourism business. This was an increase of 5.5% over 2013 which had grown by 2.3%.

“Not only did the usual destinations (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and Jamaica) receive the bulk (56.1% of the total market) of the visitors but they were also among the 14 destinations to have received more American tourists. Grenada (20.6%), Dominican Republic (12.4%), Saint Lucia (11.2%), Montserrat (11.2%) and Suriname (9.2%) topped the performances,” said the report.

The Caribbean Tourism Organisation says that Tourist arrivals to the Caribbean region grew at a faster rate than expected in 2014. Preliminary data for the year indicates that the fifth successive annual increase in tourist arrivals was estimated at 5.3%, well above the expected 2% to 3% growth. This performance produced a record number of trips (26.3 million) which was 1.3 million more than the previous record of a year earlier. Consequently, the region maintained its share (2.3%) of global arrivals

However, the highest growth rates of Canadian arrivals were experienced by Grenada (46.8%), Curacao (29.7%), St. Kitts and Nevis (26.9%), Montserrat (20.1%) and The Bahamas (17.7%). In fact, they were among the 12 destinations recording growth in market and the seven with double-digit increases. Nine destinations, however, failed to see growth in this market during the year. These declines varied between -0.1% and -12.1%

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