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Caribbean tourism sector records visitor number increase in first quarter

Caribbean tourism sector records visitor number increase in first quarter

The Caribbean tourism sector has recorded improvements during the first quarter of this year when compared to the corresponding period in 2013.

Figures released by the Caribbean Tourism Organization show a 2.2 per cent rise in stay-over arrivals between January and March 2014, with cruise visits up 2.3 per cent.

CTO chairman, Beverly Nicholson-Doty, in announcing the first quarter performance at a news briefing here during Caribbean Week Toronto, also revealed that visitor spend was trending upwards.

“Based on the increased arrivals and improved average visitor spending in the accommodation sub-sector so far, a rise of around four per cent in total spend region-wide is predicted this year,” she said

The accommodation sector also performed better during the first quarter than it did during the same period last year, with average daily rates and room revenues recording growth.

“That’s an extremely good indicator for the region in terms of people spending both on their way to our destinations but also while they are in our destinations,” Nicholson-Doty said of the hotel sector’s performance.

Regarding Canada’s performance, Nicholson-Doty announced that arrivals from this market were up 3.3 per cent in the first quarter, with 1.3 million Canadians coming to the Caribbean.

The US, with just under 3.5 million, continues to be the largest provider of tourists to the Caribbean.

However, the Canadian market grew at a faster pace during the first quarter.

The European market also improved, with 1.5 million visitors coming to the region from Europe between January and March 2014.