Cruise passengers top 130 million: CTO research-director reports strong growth in first half year

POSTED: 09/14/14 11:42 PM

St. Maarten – Visitor arrivals to the Caribbean increased by 4.3 percent in the first six months of the year. The growth is in step with the global increase of 4.7 percent, said Winfield Griffith, director research and information technology of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in the TV-program Destination Caribbean.

Griffith said that almost 14 million stay-over tourists visited the Caribbean between January and June. Almost half of them (6.87 million) come from the United States, compared to 6.61 million during the same period in 2013. This represents an increase of 3.9 percent from the American market.

“There is enough evidence that there is a growing economic confidence in the region’s largest neighboring country. This results in a strong demand for travel after a long period of recession,” Griffith said.

The research director said that only 21 countries in the region had been able to provide the CTO in a timely manner with a breakdown of their arrivals per source market. The most recent numbers indicate that more Europeans and Canadians choose the Caribbean as their vacation destination. Arrivals from these two source markets increased by 6 and 4.3 percent respectively.

Griffith said that the cruise industry is also showing higher numbers. During the first two quarters the cruise lines reported 131.1 million passengers, and increase of 8 percent compared to 2013.

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