Caribbean tourism continues to grow despite several challenges

Published on : Wednesday, November 29, 2017

caribbeans-tourismFor the first six months of 2017, the Caribbean region welcomed 16.6 million international tourists or 800,000 more than in 2016.

 
“For the first six months of 2017, data compiled by the Caribbean Tourism Organization show that the region welcomed 16.6 million international tourists or 800,000 more than in the first six months of 2016, constituting a growth rate of 5.2 percent,” according to Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett.

 
Bartlett said that the number will increase since the region was tracking for an uptick in arrivals by next week.

 
To quote Bartlett, “So far, Jamaica’s tourism performance for 2017 has been no less impressive than that of the wider region. We are already on track to surpass last year’s historic growth rate of four percent or 3.84 million visitors in total. We welcomed over 3.3 million visitors in the first nine months of 2017 and we expect total arrivals to surpass four million by the first week of December.”

 
Bartlett appreciated the performance of the regional tourism sector, in spite of suffering devastating infrastructural destruction and loss of lives due to impacts from hurricanes Irma and Maria. However, due to several challenges in the region, Caribbean tourism continues to grow at an amazing pace.

 
Thirteen of the most tourism-dependent countries – St. Martin, Anguilla, Dominica, Barbuda, St. Barts, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico – were all affected by the storms. Tourism is the largest industry in 16 of the 28 countries in the Caribbean.

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