Cuba Sees Highest Growth In Caribbean Tourism Arrivals

cuba-tourists
Crowds of foreign tourists walk at the historical center of Havana. ( Photo credit YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images)
cuba-tourists
Crowds of foreign tourists walk at the historical center of Havana. (AFP PHOTO/YAMIL LAGE / AFP / YAMIL LAGE (Photo credit should read YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images)
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By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Feb. 17, 2016: The Spanish Caribbean island of Cuba led with double digit growth in 2015, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO), latest tourist arrival data released Tuesday.

While Cuba fell behind the Dominican Republic in actual visitor stop overs for 2015, the communist nation managed to pull off the biggest spike of the year. Cuba saw double digit growth with a whopping 17.4 percent surge over nations in the region.

This translated to over 3.2 million visitors in 2015, with the most arrivals in March of last year. Cuba was second overall in the Caribbean to the Dominican Republic, which continued to lead with arrivals number of over 5.5 million last year but only an 8.9 percent growth.

Also experiencing a good year were Aruba, Barbados and Haiti. Both Barbados and Aruba saw arrivals increase by 15 percent over 2014 while Haiti saw a spike by 11 percent. Over 1.1 million tourists visited Aruba between January and November 2015 while just over half-million visited Barbados for the same period. Haiti saw over half-million visitors also for the 12 months of last year.

The third best performer for 2015 was Jamaica, which saw over 2.1 million stop over visitors last year. Bahamas and Puerto Rico were a distant fourth and fifth, respectively, with over 1.2 million tourists.

Here are the arrival numbers for the other destinations as released by the CTO:

 Country                                         Period                      Stop Over Visitors          

Anguilla                                                  Jan. –Dec. 2015                        73,232

Antigua & Barbuda                           Jan-Nov. 2015                           222,123

Belize                                                    Jan. –Dec. 2015                         341,124

Bermuda                                            Jan-Nov. 2015                            208,737

British Virgin Islands                    Jan. –Dec. 2015                       393,018

Cayman Islands                               Jan. –Dec. 2015                       385,379

Curacao                                            Jan. –Dec. 2015                         468,442

Dominica                                         Jan. – July. 2015                        48,154

Grenada                                            Jan-Sept. 2015                           107,183

Guyana                                             Jan. –Dec. 2015                         206,819

Martinique                                      Jan. –Dec. 2015                       487,364

Montserrat                                     Jan-Nov. 2015                          7,078

Saint Lucia                                     Jan. –Dec. 2015                       344,908

St. Kitts & Nevis                                  Jan-May, 2015                     52,294

St. Vincent & the Grenadines         Jan-Nov. 2015                    65,014

Suriname                                                 Jan-Aug. 2015                   166,246

Trinidad & Tobago                             Jan. –Dec. 2015                439,749

Turks & Caicos Islands                   Jan. –Dec. 2015                298,960

U S Virgin Islands                             Jan. –Dec. 2015                  769,058