UPSWING: Caribbean Visitor Arrivals Soar in 2018

Author  Edited from CMC

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Tourist arrivals to the Caribbean hit a record high last year despite some destinations being severely impacted by hurricanes that swept through the region in 2017, according to figures released here last month by the Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).

Webp.net resizeimage 79“With a strong performance during the last four months of 2018, including a robust showing by countries impacted by the 2017 hurricanes, the evidence suggests that Caribbean tourism is on the upswing,” Ryan Skeete, CTO acting director of research and information technology, told reporters.

Delivering the CTO’s annual Caribbean Tourism Performance Report 2018 & Outlook for 2019, Skeete also said the prospects for Caribbean tourism in 2019 is cautiously optimistic.

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Yet Skeete warned about possible future setbacks.

“Of course, we must recognize that there are significant headwinds to navigate,” he explained. “These include, but are not limited, to the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, the on-going trade war between the U.S. (Untied States) and China and potential extreme weather events in the destinations and marketplaces.

“Overall, the Caribbean received 29.9 million tourist visits in 2018, the second highest on record, surpassed only by the 30.6 million who visited in 2017,” Skeete added.

He told reporters that total visitor spending also declined by approximately one percent to $38.3 billion, although tourists spent slightly more per trip than they did in 2017, with the spending being $1,177 per trip compared to $1,171 in 2017.

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