Caribbean Cruise Sector Sees Large Improve in Passengers

The Caribbean Tourism Group reported a 14.3% enhance in worldwide guests in 2023, pushed by strong demand from the US and a record-breaking enhance in cruise tourism.

Surge in Caribbean Cruise Tourism

On March 15, 2024, the Caribbean Tourism Group (CTO) delivered heartening information for the area’s financial outlook. In accordance with the CTO, the Caribbean noticed a 14.3% enhance in worldwide stay-over arrivals in 2023, with cruise tourism enjoying a pivotal function on this resurgence.

The cruise sector, particularly, witnessed a 56.8% enhance, bringing an estimated 31.1 million cruise passengers to the Caribbean and making it an important element of the area’s tourism economic system.

Dona Regis-Prosper, the secretary-general of the CTO, in her deal with from Bridgetown, Barbados, highlighted that the 2023 tourism efficiency aligned with the group’s forecasts and signifies a milestone within the post-pandemic resurgence of the tourism sector.

Regis-Prosper attributed the success to a number of key components, together with a sustained demand for outbound journey from the US, the Caribbean’s largest market. Moreover, enhancements in tourism-related infrastructure and strategic advertising and marketing initiatives have been instrumental in driving development.

Moreover, elevated airlift capability performed an important function, regardless of its uneven distribution throughout totally different locations.

“Primarily based on preliminary information offered up to now by the locations within the Caribbean, vacationer visits have been roughly 32.2 million – about 4 million greater than in 2022. This establishes a steady development pattern over the previous 33 months,” stated Regis-Prosper.

Echoing this optimism, Kenneth Bryan, the Cayman Islands’ minister of tourism and ports and the chairman of the CTO’s Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism, emphasised the intense future forward.

“The Caribbean’s prospects seem extremely promising, with extra regional locations poised to both match or surpass the arrival figures recorded in 2019,” Bryan stated.

Icon of the Seas Docked in US Virgin Islands (Photograph Credit score: Virgin Islands Port Authority)

He projected that the world if on monitor to obtain 33.8 million and 35.4 million stayover vacationers in 2024. Mirroring this constructive pattern, cruise tourism’s projections for 2024 are notably buoyant. Projections point out cruise sector visits might rise by 10% to fifteen%, doubtlessly reaching between 34.2 million and 35.8 million passengers.

This optimism is additional bolstered by the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, crusing into the Caribbean in 2024 with as much as 5,610 passengers throughout its visits.

The Path to Restoration and Past

Because the Caribbean tourism sector embraced vital development, 11 locations outperformed their pre-pandemic days. Anguilla, Aruba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Puerto RicoSt. Maarten, Turks & Caicos, and the U.S. Virgin Islands achieved a restoration exceeding 50% of their 2019 arrival figures. 

Cruises to these locations contributed massively to the restoration. Turks & Caicos, particularly, noticed a rise in cruise passengers of 30% over 2022 arrivals, whereas the U.S. Virgin Islands noticed a virtually double enhance.

Cruise traces, reminiscent of Carnival Cruise Line, introduced passengers by the hundreds, together with two ships arriving on the identical day to ship over 11,000 guests to Curacao. In Jamaica, 300,000 cruise passengers arrived inside simply the primary two months of 2023. A number of of those locations additionally set new annual data for vacationer visits in 2024.

Carnival Venezia Docked in Curacao
Carnival Venezia Docked in Curacao (Photograph Credit score: Curaçao Ports Authority)

The 2023 tourism upswing within the Caribbean is underscored by vital development throughout varied markets and sectors. The U.S. market, particularly, has absolutely bounced again, with an estimated 16.3 million stay-over arrivals marking a 12.7% annual development and setting a brand new document for visits from the area.

Canada’s tourism market additionally confirmed spectacular restoration, with 3 million visits reflecting a 46.1% enhance in comparison with 2022. This development is essentially because of the enhanced air service, making the Caribbean extra accessible to Canadian vacationers. 

Learn Additionally: Caribbean Port Welcomes Almost 26,000 Cruisers In One Day

European and Caribbean markets, nevertheless, had blended outcomes. Whereas Europe’s arrival numbers remained steady, intra-Caribbean journey noticed a 3.6% enhance, indicating a gradual however regular restoration path. The South American market, in the meantime, skilled a 14% enhance.

The resort sector within the Caribbean additionally witnessed a noticeable rebound, with common room occupancy climbing to 65.6% in 2023 from 61% in 2022. This restoration was additional bolstered by a 11.8% enhance within the common price, demonstrating the sector’s robust monetary efficiency amidst restoration.

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

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