The Cayman Islands have been making remarkable strides in their efforts to restore tourism to pre-pandemic levels, with October 2023 being no exception. As we dive into the latest statistics, trends, and strategies contributing to the impressive recovery in monthly visitors to the Cayman Islands in 2023.
October Air Arrivals: A Surging 86% of Pre-COVID Levels
In recent news from the Cayman Islands, it has been reported that the month of October has seen a surge in air arrivals, reaching approximately 86% of the record-breaking numbers witnessed in 2019 before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This achievement is particularly noteworthy as it surpasses the targeted goal for this year, which aimed to attain 70% of pre-pandemic numbers.
During the first ten months of 2023, the Cayman Islands welcomed a total of 343,606 stay-over visitors. This figure compares impressively to the pre-COVID year of 2019, which was itself a record-breaking period for the destination. At present, the visitor numbers for 2023 represent approximately 84% of the 2019 figures.
Optimism for the Remainder of 2023
Rosa Harris, the Director of Tourism, expressed her confidence in the Cayman Islands’ tourism recovery. She stated, “We are pleased that our stay-over arrivals to date continue to trend above our targets, and this is indicative of a healthy and measured return to tourism.”
The majority of visitors to the Cayman Islands still originate from the United States. However, there have been significant developments in other markets as well. In October 2023, arrivals from the UK & Ireland saw a 2.9% increase compared to the previous year, reaching an impressive 94% of the 2019 numbers. Over the course of the year, visitors from the British Isles have increased by 3.1%.
The Department of Tourism has implemented a strategic campaign to boost awareness of the destination in the UK & Ireland. This includes in-flight video advertising on British Airways flights and activation for prominent UK journalists at the recent World Travel Market London. The aim is to continue this momentum, ensuring a steady increase in visitation from the UK & Ireland for the rest of 2023 and beyond.
Canada has remained the second-largest source of stay-over visitors to the Cayman Islands, representing 6.4% of the overall visitation in the first ten months of 2023. Despite a 22% decrease in arrivals from Canada in October 2023 compared to the previous year, it’s worth noting that visitation from Canada in October 2022 was actually 10% higher than in October 2019, indicating a robust recovery in this market.
Meanwhile, air arrivals from Latin America in October 2023 remained consistent with the previous year, and the year-to-date arrivals represented 81% of the 2019 numbers.
The Cayman Islands continue to make impressive strides in recovering their tourism industry in 2023. The October statistics reveal substantial growth, surpassing pre-pandemic levels and setting an optimistic tone for the future. With targeted strategies in place to attract visitors from key markets, including the US, UK & Ireland, Canada, and Latin America, the Cayman Islands are poised for a strong finish to the year and a bright outlook for 2024.