Statistics from the Department of Tourism reveal cruise passenger arrivals continued to drop this summer as had been predicted by the tourism industry as a result of the cruise lines sending their new mega-ships to other ports. In June, just over 87,000 passengers stopped in Grand Cayman representing a more than 26% decline on the arrivals for the same month last year. At the year’s half way point cruise arrivals in total are down by only 3.4% because of a good start to the yea. But with the passenger numbers expected to continue falling this figure is likely to be considerably lower by the year end. However, air arrivals continued the on-going upward trend with almost 27,000 people flying into the Cayman Islands.
While the cruise arrival statistics make for depressing reading the air arrivals indicated that stay-over tourism is holding its own with the second highest number of people flying into Cayman in June since 2002. 26,960 people arrived by air an increase of 7.6% on 2011. So far air arrivals have soared in 2011 compared to 2010 which was also a much better year than 2009. At the year’s half way point air arrivals are currently up by 9.4%
This month the increase in arrivals was not dependent on the boost from Canadian visitors which went into decline as a result of the changes in the WestJet summer schedule, but was down to a growth in passengers from North America with 23,493 coming to Cayman from the states compared to 21,380 last year.
However, occupancy rates at local hotels were not improved by the air passenger arrival figures which were less than 60% full compared to more than 70% this time last year. Condos and apartments fared slightly better enjoying a 42% occupancy rate compared to just under 37% last year and visitors are staying in Cayman slightly longer with hotel stays averaging at four and a half days and guests in apartments staying for almost seven and a half days. Last year the average length of stay in a hotel was 4.3 days and less than a week in apartments.