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The State of Caribbean TourismJune 14, 2010 By: Joe Pike
NEW YORK CITY – As part of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) annual Caribbean Week trade show, which concluded last week at the Helmsley Hotel, CTO members held a press conference to give media members a Caribbean tourism overview.
Here are some interesting stats and figures Travel Agent gathered from that Thursday afternoon press conference:
* Tourists arrivals in the Caribbean continue to rebound. Aggregate tourists arrivals to the wider Caribbean increased by 4.5 percent so far in 2010, according to records from 23 of the 33 CTO members.
* Activity in the U.S. market has resurged with a 6.5 percent increase in the first four months of this year. In contrast, the Canadian market has slowed down with just a 1 percent increase so far this year.
* The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), a sub-region of the Caribbean, was hardest hit by reduced arrivals, showing an overall 12.3 percent decline in 2009. Moderate recovery took pace in the first quarter of 2010, driven mainly by increased in St. Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda to a lesser extent. Overall, there was a 3.3 percent growth in this grouping from last year.
* Barbados and the larger CARICOM countries fared relatively better than the smaller ones. As a group, these countries record more than a 5 percent increase in traffic for the first four months with Jamaica leading the charge with just under a 10 percent growth.
* Cuba was flat during the first four months due mainly to the slow down in Canadian and European travel. The Dominican Republic showed a slight rise with a 2 percent increase while Puerto Rico jumped 8.8 percent and the U.S. Virgin Islands arrivals grew by 11.5 percent.
* Cruise visitor arrivals to the region as a whole increased by 4.5 percent from this time last year.
* The average daily room rate in the Caribbean increased by more than 7 percent in the first quarter of 2010.