Air Arrivals, Visitor Spending in Barbados Soar in 2016

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According to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Barbados attracted 6.7 percent more visitors in 2016 than 2015, signaling opportunities for expansion within the industry. 

According to the Barbados Statistical Service, for the period January to December of 2016, Barbados recorded 631,513 stay-over visitors. In fact, the destination recorded increases in arrivals in every month of 2016 except April. December (67,643 arrivals), November (62,802 arrivals), January (62,338 arrivals) and February (60,969 arrivals) were Barbados’ top performing months in 2016.

As in previous years, the United Kingdom remained the primary source market. This market contributed 35 percent of stay-over arrivals to the island, or 218,638, an increase of 2.1 percent from 2015. 

The United States followed in second position, capturing 27 percent of the market share with 168,945 arrivals; registering an increase of 14.1 percent compared to January to December of 2015.

In addition to overall growth in arrivals, tourists are on average spending more money during their visits to Barbados. According to the CTO Quarterly Exit Survey, stay-over visitors to Barbados spent a daily average of $167.41 compared to $164.40 for the corresponding period in 2015.

Total visitor expenditure increases during 2016 were spread across several markets. The U.S. recorded an increase of 18.5 percent in total visitor spending, while the U.K., Canada and the Caribbean region registered growths of 12.6 percent, 7.4 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Although the remaining markets saw declines in spending, they contributed generously to the overall total expenditure. Visitors from Europe spent $61 million during 2016 on island, while countries listed as “Other,” which included Latin America, Asia and Africa, spent $27 million.