The Caribbean Saw 50% Less Tourists in First Half of 2020

Caribbean News…
19 September 2020 10:23pm
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Caribbean travel and tourism are singing the blues since the Covid 19 pandemic broke out and brought the industry to a near standstill since early March. 

Regional countries have recorded a 50 percent slip in tourist arrivals up to the month of June this year, a senior official of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) said earlier this week.

CTO acting secretary general, Neil Walters, participating in a virtual on Caribbean tourism's progress since the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) six months ago, noted that world tourism performance had declined by 55.9 per cent.

He told the panel that also included Frank Comito, the director general of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), that the Caribbean's 50 per cent decline came against the backdrop of basically no travel in this region in April and May.

Mr. Walters said that the first two months of summer have seen a 99.1 percent decline with just under 42,000 international visitors and “as of today at least 20 destinations are open, including a number of phased openings which basically act as repatriation flights, cargo and not necessarily commercial flights”.

The CTO official said that the US market declined by 60.1 per cent up to June, Canada 43.8 percent, and Europe 54.8 percent averaging pretty close to 50 percent decline.

From STR, which sets the standard for data intelligence and global benchmarking, basically all of the accommodation key indicators declined, with the exception of the average daily rate which increased by 2.8 percent up to the end June, and the key influencers in this were a decrease in room stock by 7.8 percent and a reduction in demand of 46.4 percent..

As far as cruises are concerned, over the six months there was a 49 percent slash in cruise visits — 8.5 million cruise visitors to the Caribbean — and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) order effectively cancelling cruises in March means there were no cruise passengers visiting the region, the CTO official said.

According to official figures released here, international visitor trips decreased in the six destinations reporting data for the period January to July, namely Puerto Rico (-64.6 percent), St Lucia (-64.4 percent) and the Dominican Republic (-63.3 percent) recorded the largest contractions during this time.

The seven destinations reporting tourist arrivals for the period January to June, led by Bermuda (-81.3 percent), registered significant declines. The contractions in the other six destinations ranged between -41.4 percent (the US Virgin Islands) and -58.4 percent (Anguilla).

Source: Jamaica Observer

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