The Cayman Islands experienced a 19.5 percent increase in overall visitors for the first half of the year when compared to the same period in 2017, according to newly released data from the territory's Department of Tourism. The increase equates to an extra 214,711 visitors and a total of 1.3 million people visiting the islands between January and June.
This past June, the best one on record, marked the 15th consecutive month of visitor growth. Though air arrivals are up 15.9 percent for the first half of the year, cruise passenger arrivals are largely responsible for the positive trends, making up 81 percent of the Cayman Island’s total visitors.
Overall arrivals from the United States in June rose 13.9 percent. Visitors from the Midwest and Southwest led this increase with the regions experiencing 23.7 and 21.6 percent growth respectively. Elsewhere in the country, the Southeast, Northeast and West Coast saw slighter increases, rising 9.82, 6.59 and 1.61 percent. Canadian visitors, with twelve consecutive months of growth, rose by 20.4 percent.
The territory’s Department of Tourism points to its multi-faceted marketing plan as a leading contributor the sustained growth. The efforts focused on increasing brand awareness and flattening seasonality and included promotions, business agreements and media outreach.
After being named the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, the department launched a Summer Only in Cayman promotion and a Kid’s Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. In March, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbnb, agreeing to provide details on accommodations laws and regulations in exchange for sharing aggregate data. The territory also sent a group to Caribbean Tourism Week in New York City in early June, where, among other things, the Minister of Tourism Maureen Cubbon met with journalists to talk about the islands’ food and family offerings.