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Caribbean Records 3.3 Rise in Tourism Arrivals in 2011

The number of tourists who went on Caribbean holidays in 2011 reached 23.8 million, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organisation. Tourism arrivals increased by 3.3 per cent compared to the year 2010, despite challenging times for the economy worldwide.

Caribbean Records 3.3 Rise in Tourism Arrivals in 2011

The Caribbean recorded a rise in tourist arrivals in 2011 despite the ongoing economic troubles in many parts of the world.

According to the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), 23.8 million tourists took Caribbean holidays last year which marked a 3.3 per cent growth in tourism compared to 2010 figures.

The statistics specialist from the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Sean Smith, explained: “The Caribbean tourism industry is holding its own, remaining afloat and resilient amidst turbulence in the marketplace.

“Tourist arrivals to the Caribbean region remained buoyant in 2011, continuing the recovery process which began in 2010.”

Although the number of cruise arrivals to the Caribbean also recorded a slight rise by 0.3 per cent (20.6 million arrivals), the figures were relatively flat compared to previous years but Smith is confident that these will rise again by two to three percent in 2012.

The majority of travellers usually go on holidays to the Caribbean during the winter months but 2011 also saw a rise in holidaymakers throughout the summer period.

 Bahamas View
Image by: Timothy Shea, on Flickr

“Tourist arrivals during the winter months (January to April) were up 4.4 per cent over the previous winter, which had grown by 3.9 per cent over 2009,” added Smith.

“The summer period ending December recorded a lower than expected increase of three per cent.”

The majority of tourists who took Caribbean holidays last year originated from Canada and arrivals from the northern American country were up by 6.8 per cent compared to 2010. Visitors from the United States also increased by 1.7 per cent and arrivals from Europe remained flat with a rise of 0.6 per cent.

 Relax in Dominican Republic Beaches
Image by: IDEE_PER_VIAGGIARE, on Flickr

Smith explained that problems in the main source markets such as high unemployment numbers, high oil prices, and the increased Airport Tax Duty (APD) could be a concern for the Caribbean tourism industry.

“In light of these realities, arrivals to the Caribbean are not expected to exceed a three per cent increase in 2012 and visitor expenditure is also not expected to grow meaningfully during this year,” Smith concluded.

 YS Waterfalls in Jamaica
Image by: Troy And Naomi, on Flickr

The Caribbean is an idyllic region geographically located between North and South America and boasting a collection of picturesque island nations offering white sand beaches, turquoise ocean waters, a tropical sunny climate, lush rainforests, vibrant coral reefs, and a wide range of beachfront Caribbean hotels and resorts that cater for all budgets.

Popular destinations for holidays in the Caribbean include Jamaica, St Lucia, Barbados, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.
As well as being a haven for tropical holidays, the Caribbean is a favourite for destination weddings and romantic honeymoons.

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