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Caribbean tourism grows as region sees increase in visitor arrivals

The aftermath of the recent global recession seems to be heading in the right direction for many Caribbean islands as consumers from the United States are once again booking their Caribbean holidays giving the tourist destinations a welcome tourism boost.

Caribbean tourism grows as region sees increase in visitor arrivals

As travellers once again book their Caribbean holidays, the recovery from the global economic recession seems to be underway as many destinations are now on a growth track.

According to the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, the number of US and European travellers taking Caribbean holidays was up by 6.5 percent during the first four months of this year.

Many travellers booking Caribbean holidays chose Jamaica as their tropical destination with visitor arrivals up by 7.3 percent from January to April 2010; the Dominican Republic saw a 2.5 percent increase and 2.2 million tourists arrive between January and June; and the Bahamas with a 1.6 percent rise in visitors.

The second most popular destination for Caribbean holidays, Cuba, saw 1.22 million tourists arrive on the island between January and May this year, which was a 1.2 percent increase on last year.

Despite the welcomed boost in tourism numbers to some islands, many others saw a decline in visitor arrivals. These include Bermuda which saw a 10.5 percent dip between January and March 2010, Curacao with a 9.4 percent fall from January to May, and the Mexican region of Cancun which saw a decline of 2.3 percent between January and April.

The origin of travellers taking Caribbean holidays has had a significant affect on visitor numbers with a decline in arrivals from European tourists. This had a ripple affect on the Eastern Caribbean as the area depends heavily on visitors from Europe, compared to northern Caribbean islands which are closely situated to the USA.

Director of Research at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Winfield Griffith, said: "Travellers are proceeding with a great deal of caution when it comes to spending because of the global economic crisis. From what I can glean, I would say spending is down about 5 percent.''

During the economic downturn last year, many Caribbean hotels, airlines, and travel companies cut their prices and offered numerous promotions and discounts to entice travellers to book Caribbean holidays, which meant that profits were low. But as the economy shows signs of recovery, so do the islands of the Caribbean as consumers once again start slowly spending.

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