Stayover arrivals for the first 11 months of this year have surpassed the target set by the Ministry of Tourism for 2022, which was to achieve 40% of 2019’s arrivals or 200,000 stayover visitors by 31st December, 2022. Air arrivals to date stand at 53% or 36,000 visitors above target; with arrivals for December still to be added to the final year-end result.
Cruise passenger arrivals are also expected to surpass the target once December’s passenger count has been included in the totals.
The results were announced earlier today in Parliament by Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism, and confirm that the Cayman Islands tourism industry is rebounding ahead of expectations.
Minister Bryan delivered a positive statement to the House which recounted the tourism industry’s path to recovery over the past 11 months. He noted that despite the scale and depth of the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, “a sense of renewed hope is increasingly taking hold in our Islands, where tourism is concerned.”
With respect to stayover arrivals, Minister Bryan announced that:
• Year-to-date arrivals from January to November stand at 236,348 stayover visitors, which is 53% of 2019’s arrivals.
• November was the best performing month for stayover arrivals in 2022, registering 34,118 visitors. This was followed by July which peaked at 32,356 visitors and June which recorded 26,116 visitors.
• Visitor arrivals in October and November 2022 were 91% and 89% of the same period in 2019 respectively, showing vast improvements when compared to January of 2022, when visitor arrivals registered just 14% of 2019’s figures.
• For the last quarter of this year, air arrivals have been running close to a 90% average.
Date: Wednesday 14 December, 2022
Contact: Gina Matthews
Cell Phone (345) 526-1259
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Official Government Portal: www.gov.ky
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For the cruise sector, Minister Bryan advised Parliament that:
• Between March and November 2022, Grand Cayman received 206 cruise ship calls, carrying a total of 614,959 passengers.
• Cruise passenger arrivals peaked in November with 105,754 passengers. This was followed by the month of June which registered close to 90,000 passengers, equating to 86% of the cruise passenger arrivals recorded in June of 2019.
• Year-to-date cruise passenger arrivals represent 38% of 2019 arrivals, just 2% below target. However, passenger arrivals for December are expected to raise the year-end total above the 40% threshold.
In terms of revenue derived from tourism taxes and fees, a similar 40% target was set for 2022, which equates to a contribution to the economy of CI$15million. For the period January to October 2022, a total of CI$14.5 million has been remitted to government, which is just shy of the target, with two more months of revenue remining to be collected.
Among the other notable achievements recorded within the Ministry of Tourism’s portfolios, Minister Bryan stated that:
• Airline seat capacity into the Cayman Islands has increased by 1,253 in the fourth quarter of 2022,
• A new airline – Sun Country – will begin weekly service from Minneapolis to the Cayman Islands starting from this Saturday, December 17th.
• October and November were record breaking months for Cayman Airways. In October, the airline exceeded pre-pandemic numbers for both total passenger count and passenger revenue; setting new records in both categories. In November, a similar achievement was recorded. For the first time in November, Cayman Airways exceeded US$5 million in passenger revenue and transported 31,600 passengers, which is the 2nd highest passenger number for any November in the airline’s history.
With respect to the training of Caymanians, Minister Bryan reaffirmed his commitment to encouraging more Caymanian participation in the Tourism Industry and outlined that one million dollars had been budgeted this fiscal year to train Caymanians in tourism and hospitality related courses. To date, the Ministry and Department of tourism have offered a range of opportunities including:
o Aquila Customer Service Training for frontline and customer facing staff;
o Bartending courses in collaboration with Wineschool3;
o 12 scholarships with Inspire Cayman for Caymanians seeking certification in boat operations and or as Emergency First Responders (EFR’s)
o 39 PRIDE Training workshop and 5 webinars;
o The annual MOT scholarship Programme.
The year-in-review summary outlined by Minister Bryan also included an update on the Public Transportation Strategy which is currently in development by Deloitte’s, and is expected to provide Government with recommendations for transitioning to a National Government-run Public Bus System. The report is expected to be completed early in the New Year.
In closing, Minister Bryan expressed his confidence in the tourism industry’s continued recovery through 2023 saying “For decades, tourism has been a significant part of our nation’s identity. Tourism is our past, our present and definitely our future. As we head into 2023 it’s time for us to once again dream big where tourism is concerned. We have the will, we have the way, and we must have the passion to make it bigger, brighter and bolder than it’s ever been before. I have the confidence that 2023 will not just be a good year for tourism, it will be a great year, and I am committed to doing everything possible to make that prediction a reality.”
The Minister thanked and commended his staff at the Ministry and Department of Tourism and his colleagues in Caucus and Cabinet, along with private sector partners, Board Members, Civil Servants and all of the business owners and workers in the tourism industry for their hard work and support in restoring the Cayman Islands tourism industry to a position of strength.
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