In 2016, Barbados attracted an increase of 6.7%, or 39,641 more visitors than 2015, signaling opportunities for expansion within the industry. Minister of Tourism and International Transport, the Honorable Richard Sealy, said that “this growth stands to have a positive impact on every Barbadian. An increase in stay-over visitors, and an increase in average visitor spend, translate to new and growing opportunities for individuals in the Barbados labour force, as well as the overall economy.”
According to the Barbados Statistical Service, for the period January to December 2016, Barbados recorded 631,513 stay-over visitors. All of the months of the year 2016, with the exception of April, recorded increases in arrivals with December (67,643), November (62,802), January (62,338) and February (60,969) emerging as the peak months. Of these, the highest growth was recorded during the month of November when arrivals grew by 18.5% to a total of 62,802. Even September, a generally slow period, enjoyed a growth of 10.5% when compared with September 2015.
U.K., U.S. retain lion’s share
As in previous years, the United Kingdom remained the primary source market. This market contributed 35% of stay-over arrivals to the island, or 218,638, an increase of 2.1% from 2015.
The United States followed in second position, capturing 27% of the market share with 168,945 arrivals; registering an increase of 14.1% compared to January to December 2015.
The Caribbean continued to hold its own, contributing 15% of business during the reporting period. Some 99,679 arrivals were recorded (Trinidad & Tobago, 34,000 arrivals and Other Caribbean, 65,679 arrivals). Increases of 14.6% and 12.6% were recorded for Trinidad and Tobago and the other Caribbean territories respectively, when compared with 2015.
Generating 12% of business to Barbados, arrivals from Canada grew from 74,494 during 2015 to 78,903 during 2016, resulting in an increase of 5.9%.
Europe maintained its 6% share of overall business, with Germany as its top performer.
According to in-house figures from the BTMI, there was also a small contribution from Central and South America, particularly Colombia, whose arrivals grew from 776 during 2015 to 2,350 during 2016.