News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 16, 2018: Stay-over tourists to the Caribbean spent an estimated US$34.2 billion last year alone.
That’s according to the latest Caribbean Tourism Performance Report for 2017, reported by the Caribbean Tourism Organization Thursday. The spend amounts to an estimated US$1,230 per trip, an increase from 2016 of just over $100.
Combined with cruise visits, the CTO’s acting director of Research & IT, Ryan Skeete, said total visitor spend reached US$37 billion, an increase by approximately 2.6 percent over 2016. Some 30 million stay-over and cruise visitors helped the tourist-dependent region reach the 37 billion spend, a growth again last year.
Despite the slight increase in arrivals to the region, however, hotel occupancy fell by 1.2 percent, according to STR Inc (formerly Smith Travel Research), a U.S. company that tracks supply and demand data for the hotel industry. However, the primary revenue metrics were all up, with average daily rate (ADR) increasing by 1.9 percent to $204.64, and revenue per available room grew by 0.7 percent to $135.85.
The horrific hurricanes of 2017, undoubtedly impacted arrivals with Skeete revealing in Barbados that “there was a major slowdown in the second half (of the year performance) due to the impact of the September hurricanes as tourist visits declined by 1.7 percent.”
The hurricane-impacted countries recorded decreases ranging from -18 percent to -7 percent, Skeete said.
Several Caribbean destinations, however, reported double-digit increases in 2017 such as Saint Lucia with 11 percent, Belize with 10.8 percent and Bermuda with 10.3 percent.
U.S. tourist arrivals reached an estimated 14.9 million in 2017 while arrivals from Europe totaled 5.8 million, a growth by an estimated 6.2 percent, the strongest growth among the main markets, in spite of terrorist attacks in some countries, and the continuing Brexit negotiations and the related uncertainties.
Visits from the Canadian market rebounded in 2017, growing by 4.3 percent compared to a decline of 3.1 percent in 2016.