Caribbean Tourism Industry holding its own: CTO

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The Caribbean recorded a rise in tourist arrivals in 2011 when compared to 2010, and further growth is forecast for this year.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the authority on Caribbean tourism arrival statistics and visitor spending, announced this week that 23.8 million stay over visitors went to the region in 2011, an increase of 3.3 per cent over 2010.

CTO's statistical specialist, Sean Smith told reporters at the agency's State of the Industry news conference in Barbados that "The Caribbean tourism industry is holding its own, remaining afloat and resilient amidst turbulence in the marketplace," noting that "Tourist arrivals to the Caribbean region remained buoyant in 2011, continuing the recovery process which began in 2010."

The rise in arrivals came on the back of a strong performance during the winter months, although there was less than anticipated growth during the summer.

Smith said "Tourist arrivals during the winter months (January to April) were up 4.4 per cent over the previous winter, which had grown by 3.9 per cent over 2009." But "the summer period ending December recorded a lower than expected increase of three per cent."

The Canadian market performed strongly with arrivals up 6.8 per cent over 2010, but growth from the US was modest at 1.7 per cent, while Europe was flat, recording a 0.6 per cent rise.

Smith warned, however, that the Caribbean was not yet out of the woods as the data revealed uneven growth among some destinations and that revenue continued to lag. The CTO official explained that high unemployment in the major source markets, pressure on the monetary and fiscal systems, as well as high oil prices continued to be of concern to the region.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 1’40″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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