Caribbean arrival rates show signs of improvement

Tourist arrivals to the Caribbean from the major markets have been encouraging so far this year, according to figures released by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)‘s research and information management division.The latest available stayover statistics indicate that through August 2003, there was a six percent growth over the similar period in 2002.“This represents a process of continuing growth although the number of arrivals are not yet back to the same period in 2001 and are still below those for a similar period in 2000,” said Arley Sobers, CTO’s director of research and information management.The Caribbean recovery in 2003 was seen across all the major markets, the statistics revealed. Arrivals from the United States were up four per cent, Canada increased by 16 percent and the European market was on the upswing again with tourist arrivals increasing by eight percent through August.However, the figures show that growth was not shared evenly among individual destinations. The robust growth in the Canadian market, for example, was due largely to increases of over 30 percent in Cuba and the Dominican Republic, which together account for about half of all Canadian visiting the region.The figures can be found in the latest issue of Key Tourism Statistics, a quarterly publication produced by the CTO research and information management division, copies of which are available for purchase online at