Caribbean Visitor Numbers Are Strong, But Work Is Ahead
The catastrophic hurricanes may have slowed down tourism's progress, but they sure did not stop it.
Stayover visitor arrivals topped a record 30.1 million in 2017, and visitor spend hit a record $37 billion, even as the region battled the effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as Hurricane Harvey, which lashed parts of the U.S., the Caribbean's primary market.
Cruise performance mirrored that of tourist arrivals, growing by 2.4 percent over 2016, to a milestone 27 million passengers.
"In short, despite the severe challenges of 2017, more visitors arrived in the Caribbean, and they spent more," said Hugh Riley, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, during a video briefing at CTO headquarters in Barbados.