Record-breaking arrivals for 2017 in both air and cruise visitation represent the best year of recorded statistical data for the Cayman Islands, according to a written release issued by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.
A total of 418,403 stay-over visitors, an increase of 8.55 percent over 2016 and 1,728,444 cruisers visited the islands.
For the seventh consecutive month (June through December), air arrivals surpassed all previously recorded statistics. A total of 49,003 stay-over visitors arrived in December, an increase of 21.61 percent over December 2016; and an increase of 20.8 percent over December 2014, which was standing as the best ranked December in recorded history.
December increases were fueled by growth predominantly in North America. Key markets such as the United States and Canada, which saw increases of 27.43 percent and 22.71 percent respectively over 2016; represented the highest standout growth.
The U.S northeast region delivered an additional 2,997 visitors, or 28.89 percent increase year over year, making it the top performing region of 2017. The midwest region anchored solid volume levels with 2,325 additional visitors, or a 37.81 percent increase over 2016.
“The performance of the country’s tourism sector and all who played a role in attracting more visitors to the destination should be extraordinarily proud of their efforts,” said Moses Kirkconnell, deputy premier and minister of tourism, in a written release. “It is the mandate of the Ministry of Tourism to facilitate annual growth in visitation; however, it is a collective effort that makes it a success. I encourage all of us in the tourism industry and its auxiliary partners to use this accomplishment as a springboard for even greater success in 2018.”
Overall annual performance in 2017, marked visitation from the United States and Canada with growth rates of 13.44 percent and 6.37 percent, respectively. The northeast region of the United States saw the largest increase in visitation for the year with 15,042 more visitors, or 15.71 percent increase over 2016.