The Caribbean tourism sector in 2004 can
best be described as robustly holding its own, according to Arley
Sobers, director of information management and research for the
Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).
numbers topped 21.8 million, which represented a 7% overall
increase in air arrivals in 2004. Cruise-passenger visits to the
Caribbean last year increased by 13% to 20.5 million.
Based on a sample
of Caribbean hotels in 11 CTO member countries, the average room
occupancy for 2004 was 67.9% compared with 62.7% in
The average revenue
per available room increased 16.4% to $96.14 in 2004, according to
Smith Travel Research, international hotel performance
Growth in tourist
arrivals slowed as 2004 proceeded, Sobers said. From January
through April 2004, arrivals jumped 10% but fell to 6% growth from
May through December.
Sobers said that
although the active hurricane season was clearly a factor, the
setback was temporary.
In terms of major
markets, tourist arrivals from the U.S. grew 7% last year; arrivals
from Canada were up 16% (although most of these went to Cuba and
the Dominican Republic), and arrivals from Europe grew by just over
percentage-increase standpoint, leaders last year in terms of air
arrivals included Anguilla (up 16.5%), Montserrat (up 18.3%), the
Cayman Islands (up 14.5%) and St. Maarten (up 14.1%).
From a numbers
point of view, the Dominican Republic recorded 3.4 million air
arrivals, the Bahamas had 1.4 million and Jamaica 1.2