The Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism and Ports (MOTP) has made an exciting announcement that is sure to bring smiles to the faces of those involved in the tourism industry. In a recent report, they revealed that revenue from Tourism Accommodation Taxes and Fees (TATP) for the first half of 2023 has surpassed annual projections, setting the stage for an extraordinary year in Cayman tourism.
Between January and June 2023, TATP revenue reached an impressive CI$28.8 million. This not only exceeded the mid-year projections but also outpaced the full-year target by CI$3 million.
Essentially, the Cayman Islands has already achieved its expected annual revenue within the first half of the year. This surge in revenue hints at a thriving tourism sector that is rebounding vigorously from recent challenges.
Another contributing factor to this remarkable growth is the revenue collected from cruise passenger departure tax, totaling CI$4.4 million, which exceeded the mid-year forecast by approximately 6 percent.
In terms of stayover arrivals, between January and June 2023, there were 235,370 visitors—a remarkable 84 percent of the corresponding period in 2019. This resurgence in visitors highlights the Cayman Islands’ enduring appeal as a premier travel destination.
Minister for Tourism and Ports, Hon. Kenneth Bryan, commented on these mid-year results, emphasizing the strong recovery of the tourism industry. He noted that the increase in the Average Daily Rate (ADR) of accommodations over the past year reflects a sustained interest in the Cayman Islands as a top travel destination.
The United States continued to be the largest source of visitors, accounting for 83.6% of total visitation, followed by Canada at 7.5%. European visitors made up 4.4% of arrivals, mirroring the figures recorded in 2019.
Cruise passenger arrivals for the first half of the year also displayed a robust performance, with 738,462 passengers, equivalent to 73 percent of the pre-pandemic visitation numbers seen in 2019.
What truly sets the Cayman Islands apart is its ability to attract travelers from both traditional source markets and emerging regions. This diversity showcases the destination’s universal appeal, catering to a wide range of travelers seeking varied experiences. Efforts to enhance air connectivity have further fueled this success, with additional new flights and direct connections providing visitors with more accessibility options, resulting in increased bookings and convenience for both business and leisure travelers.
Mrs. Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism, expressed her delight at the half-year tourism results. She praised the resilience and adaptability of the Cayman Islands’ tourism industry, noting that these outstanding revenue collections demonstrate its strength. Looking ahead to the rest of 2023, she expressed optimism about maintaining this growth trajectory and the Cayman Islands’ position as a premier travel destination in the Caribbean. She also highlighted the Department of Tourism’s commitment to implementing innovative strategies to continue attracting visitors to the islands.
In conclusion, the Cayman Islands’ tourism industry is not just bouncing back; it’s thriving and exceeding expectations. With a diverse array of attractions and proactive measures to enhance visitor experiences, the Cayman Islands is undoubtedly set to remain a leading travel destination for the rest of 2023 and beyond.