What goes up, must come down

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has just published its October report which shows the most recent stopover arrival and cruise visitor numbers for many destinations in the Caribbean.

This certainly deserves a blurb, as Aruba is the only island down in the region, and as we see despite millions spent on marketing, we just show 1.5% increase from the USA.

I asked around how that is possible, and understood the following: What goes up, must come down!

Basically MinTour and ATA are victims of their own spin the last couple of years. Remember when we had these ridiculous increases in arrivals two/three years ago like 15% up, driven by desperate Venezuelans looking to purchase diapers and toilet paper?

Those were indeed arrivals, but unrelated to tourism, staying in homes, sleeping in backyards and patios. They came in droves. I hated the line for beer at the back of the Ling & Sons store.

At the time, both ATA and the MinTour, refused  to take them out of the statistics mix, despite requests from AHATA and the private sector, instead they took credit for the huge increases in tourism due to, their amazing marketing efforts!

Now that these Venezuelans have basically vanished, our statistics show a decrease, and guess what ATA wants to do? Exclude the drop in Venezuelan arrivals from the analysis, to reflect a more realistic picture.

The island should have done it from the start, excluded the Venezuelan swipers, when they were coming.

As for arrivals from the USA, it is truthfully hard to grow arrivals from that market unless the island opens new and/or additional gateways for airlines, which has not happened in years.

But ATA keeps pumping millions into the market, and driving the acquisition cost, per new visitor, up significantly. I suppose you could argue… as long as the money is there, who cares what it costs to bring a first-time visitor to the island, as long as they keep coming, we’re happy.

Cruise arrivals? According to my sources, this is no true growth. This 14% increase is getting cruise arrivals and the number of cruise calls back to Aruba’s normal levels. In 2015 Aruba saw a substantial drop in cruise traffic. In 2016, we’re just getting back to normal.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has just published its October report which shows the most recent stopover arrival and cruise visitor numbers for many destinations in the Caribbean.

Total Stopover Visitors
2016 2015 % change Period
Antigua            200,185            183,656 9.0% Jan-Sep
Aruba            849,799            887,138 -4.2% Jan-Sep
Bahamas            781,770            760,978 2.7% Jan-Jun
Barbados            421,914            400,298 5.4% Jan-Aug
Belize            293,622            252,253 16.4% Jan-Sep
British Virgin Islands            280,876            270,333 3.9% Jan-Jul
Cayman Islands            281,770            280,368 0.5% Jan-Aug
Cuba         2,715,478         2,430,238 11.7% Jan-Aug
Curacao            299,862            297,415 0.8% Jan-Aug
Dominican Republic         4,165,198         3,892,708 7.0% Jan-Aug
Jamaica         1,532,272         1,496,359 2.4% Jan-Aug
Puerto Rico         1,131,795         1,123,928 0.7% Jan-Aug
Saint Lucia            246,511            245,774 0.3% Jan-Aug
Turks & Caicos Islands            302,295            251,076 20.4% Jan-Jul
US Virgin Islands            612,162            593,756 3.1% Jan-Sep
Source CTO

 

 

Total US Stopover Visitors
2016 2015 % change Period
Antigua              84,500              71,188 18.7% Jan-Sep
Aruba            478,368            471,329 1.5% Jan-Sep
Bahamas            301,534            282,600 6.7% Jan-Mar
Barbados             83,454              73,788 13.1% Jan-Jun
Belize            197,868            158,421 24.9% Jan-Sep
British Virgin Islands NA  NA NA NA
Cayman Islands            223,526            216,385 3.3% Jan-Aug
Cuba            171,445            100,305 70.9% Jan-Aug
Curacao              36,587              36,441 0.4% Jan-Jul
Dominican Republic         1,563,924         1,478,189 5.8% Jan-Aug
Jamaica         1,007,941            960,859 4.9% Jan-Aug
Puerto Rico            862,227            880,722 -2.1% Jan-Jun
Saint Lucia            113,607            110,620 2.7% Jan-Aug
Turks & Caicos Islands            248,596            208,204 19.4% Jan-Jul
US Virgin Islands NA  NA NA NA
Source CTO

 

Total Cruise Visitors
2016 2015 % change Period
Antigua            414,574            440,094 -5.8% Jan-Sep
Aruba            439,226            384,606 14.2% Jan-Sep
Bahamas         2,451,944         2,410,060 1.7% Jan-Aug
Barbados            340,043            327,626 3.8% Jan-Jun
Belize            701,618            692,279 1.3% Jan-Sep
British Virgin Islands            444,200            300,750 47.7% Jan-Jul
Cayman Islands         1,189,963         1,124,164 5.9% Jan-Aug
Cozumel         2,601,961         2,486,057 4.7% Jan-Sep
Curacao            311,117            328,132 -5.2% Jan-Aug
Dominican Republic            525,699            321,934 63.3% Jan-Aug
Jamaica         1,137,575         1,027,545 10.7% Jan-Aug
Puerto Rico            819,226            923,393 -11.3% Jan-Jul
Saint Lucia            365,446            446,390 -18.1% Jan-Aug
St. Maarten         1,029,027         1,249,699 -17.7% Jan-Jul
Turks & Caicos Islands            510,035            544,782 -6.4% Jan-Jul
US Virgin Islands         1,311,101         1,319,080 -0.6% Jan-Sep
sub total      14,592,755      14,326,591 1.9%
Source CTO