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Guyana Records Highest Visitor Arrival Numbers to Date

January 25, 2018 – Guyana continues to grow as a destination of choice for travellers. As of December 31st, 2018, Guyana recorded a total number of visitor arrivals of 286,732 passengers; a 15.93% increase from the 247,330 visitors Guyana welcomed in 2017.

Over the past years, the Guyana Tourism Authority has worked on raising the profile of Destination Guyana through increased product development, awareness raising activities and niche marketing. This includes attendance at trade shows such as American Birding Expo, ITB, and World Travel Market. The year 2018 saw big changes in GTA’s marketing efforts. A new destination website and social media strategy were launched; market representation was secured in the core source markets of the US, Canada, UK and Germany; and Guyana Tourism Authority hosted several trade, media and influencer FAM trips – all with the aim of increasing awareness of Guyana and driving demand among travellers seeking out authentic, nature, adventure and cultural experiences.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) a visitor is a traveller taking a trip to a main destination outside his/her usual environment, for an overnight stay up to less than a year, for any main purpose (business, leisure or other personal purpose) other than to be employed by a resident entity in the country or place visited. While the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation did report an internal passenger arrival number of 325,800 individuals, the figure captured by the Guyana Tourism Authority is that of visitor specific arrivals, in keeping with the UNWTO definition.

For the first time, Guyana has seen a significant increase in some of its core source markets such as the US (8.28% increase), Europe (11.82% increase) and other Caribbean nations (28% increase).

Travellers come to Guyana to enjoy its pristine rainforest and the golden savannahs of the Rupununi, its unique indigenous community-owned eco-lodges and its nature resorts  on the Essequibo and Demerara Rivers, Guyanese events such as Bartica Regatta and Guyana Carnival, and the most popular attraction of them all, majestic Kaieteur Falls. Kaieteur National Park recorded a total of 8,195 visitors to the tourist attraction in 2018, which is a 10% increase from the previous year.

Guyana also hosted the OAS CITUR Conference in March 2018 and the ICAO Air Transport Meeting in November 2018 which saw scores of international officials, all of whom experienced Guyana’s tourism product.

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin, who has responsibility for tourism, hailed the increased visitor arrivals as an opportunity for more communities, individuals and businesses to invest around the tourism product. The Minister noted that, “word of Guyana’s unique tourism offerings is reaching more people around the world and destination Guyana continues to gain significance”. The government, he added, “will continue to provide the necessary support and incentives as an impetus to the sector. The Department of Tourism and the Guyana Tourism Authority will continue to work with stakeholders in keeping with the Living Guyana Tourism Strategic Action Plan 2018-2025.”

Brian T. Mullis, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority noted that “this is a great achievement for Guyana. We are beginning to attract an increasing number of travellers seeking our authentic nature, culture and adventure experiences within our core markets. Increased visitation means increased income into Guyana that provides benefits across sectors. Tourism is the third largest export market in Guyana. Looking forward, we aim to increase the volume of visitors and the value they each represent to further amplify the positive impacts from tourism.”

With a more targeted marketing approach, ongoing development of the tourism product and increased airlift (LIAT Airlines added a new route in July 2018, and American Airlines recently started serving the destination in November 2018), Guyana is expected to see growth in its visitor arrivals and the improvement of the overall visitor experience in the coming years.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Three artistes announced for Jazz ‘n Creole 2019

Roseau, Dominica – (January 29, 2019) Three artistes have been announced for Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole carded for May 3 – 5, 2019, at Fort Shirley in the Cabrits National Park.  Marva Williams, Festival and Events Manager (Ag) at the Dominica Festivals Committee (DFC) made the announcement at a concert featuring British artiste Joss Stone.

On the line up for this year’s 10th edition of Jazz ‘n Creole are Johan Chuckeree of Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica’s own Mel and The Smith Brothers.

Johann Chuckaree is a celebrated pannist who mastered the steel pan under the tutelage of Len “Boogse” Sharpe.  Chuckaree is the section leader and senior member of the 7 time national panorama champs Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove Steel Orchestra.  He has performed alongside Andy Narrell, represented his country in Argentina as cultural ambassador and amazed audiences in Barbados, St. Lucia, London, Germany, France, New York, Boston and Los Angeles with his stirring steel pan music.

Mel, formerly known to us as Mel C, has thrilled us with her melodious vocals as lead singer of Ti Orkest Band and as a contestant in the Miss Dominica 2013 National Queen Pageant.  She has performed in Summer Heat Fest, Fete la Coudre, The Gaza Party and others.   Mel has gained considerable experience performing alongside Queen Ifrica, Tony Rebel, Munga Honourable, Popcaan, Christopher Martin and Wayne Wonder.  Her popularity has grown tremendously in the French West Indies through her collaboration with artistes such as Walla, Riddla, Jmax and Warped.  Mel participated in CARIFESTA XI in 2013, was awarded the most outstanding youth in music from the National Youth Council in 2015 and in 2015 was nominated as The Sun Newspaper’s best young female artiste.

The Smith Brothers have risen to local stardom with the energetic and lyrically sound deliveries of their youngest member Micah Smith.  The band comprises Marxian on guitar and piano, Michaj on drums, Mighan on bass guitar and Micah the lead vocalist.   The brothers have put together four productions and released their first single on December 30, 2018. They have performed at Marigot’s May Fest, Sisserou Singers Harmony Production in 2018, Kweyol Wandevou in 2018 and Colton T’s Bomb in the City concert among others.

Marva Williams of the DFC encouraged patrons to get ready for another exciting Jazz ‘n Creole lineup with two additional performers to be announced in the coming weeks.

For more information on Dominica’s Jazz ‘n Creole, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045 or Dominica Festival Committee at 767 448 4833. Or visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, or follow Dominica Fests on Twitter and Facebook, and YouTube.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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2018: Record-Breaking Arrivals Continue for the Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (25 Jan 2019) Following a rebound year for Caribbean travel with increased competition throughout the region, the Cayman Islands has maintained its market share with another year of record-breaking statistical arrivals. At the close of 2018, total visitation surpassed all previous years of recorded visitation including 2006, which previously held the record for the highest number of total visitors in a calendar year.

Total arrivals for 2018 in both air and cruise visitation was 2,384,058, which is an 11.05 percent increase over the same period in 2017 (237,211 additional persons).  463,001 stayover visitors, an increase of 10.66 percent –an additional 44,598 visitors—over 2018, is a year of exciting ‘firsts’ for the destination:

  • The Cayman Islands welcomed over 450,000 stayover visitors for the first time.
  • Arrivals in 2018 represent the highest number of stayover visits for a calendar year in recorded history (surpassing Jan-Dec 2017).
  • As a double accomplishment in ‘firsts’ over 50,000 stayover visitors travelled to the destination within a single month, happening twice in 2018: March and December.

This significant increase in visitation positively impacted the local economy with an uptick in visitor spend, increasing by US$98.1m over 2017.  The estimated total visitor spend in 2018 was US$880.1m, an increase of 12.5 percent.

Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Moses Kirkconnell shared, “The mandate of the Ministry and Department of Tourism is to facilitate annual growth in visitation and economic contribution; my Ministry pursues this strategically each year.  Through creative promotions, partnerships, and continued collaboration with our industry stakeholders, we have maintained the significant accomplishment of continuous record-breaking years. Our government has committed to investment in our points of entry at the Cruise Port and Airports. These much-needed upgrades will benefit of tourism operators, businesses, visitors and residents. My focus is to ensure that all subjects in my ministry portfolio operate efficiently and effectively to support the tourism sector. These results are an excellent indicator of the work accomplished in 2018.”

In 2018, the USA, Canada, and LATAM had the most impact on arrival numbers.  Specifically, the countries with the largest impact on the overall performance in 2018 were:

  • United States:  13.01%
  • Canada:  7.46%
  • Jamaica:  7.63%
  • Argentina: 17.54%
  • Bermuda: 21.10%

The month of December is noted as the best on record, with a 6.15 percent increase of stayover arrivals with the destination receiving over 50,000 fuelled primarily by the North American markets.  As with the overall statistical increase, the USA had the largest impact in the month of December having grown by over 2,600 additional visitors.  This marks the 21st consecutive month of growth for this market which included an increase in capacity by national flag carrier Cayman Airways from JFK with daily flights in December 2018 compared to December 2017.  Canada saw a 3.30 percent growth making it the best December in statistical history for Canadian stayover visitation. Adding to the success of December’s record-breaking numbers, Latin America also increased by 3.32 percent and is now the best month in arrivals history for that region.

“The Department of Tourism goal of source market diversification coupled with the ongoing development of new routes to the destination and innovative marketing plans has continued to drive the record-breaking successes for the Cayman Islands and will continue in 2019,” said Director of Tourism, Mrs Rosa Harris.  “Noting that aviation is vital to driving visitation our global team remains committed to increasing capacity and are particularly excited to be officially opening the Denver Colorado route in March with Cayman Airways.  As a gateway for the West Coast, we look forward to welcoming many new visitors from Colorado and new cities from the United States in 2019 to add to another year of success for the Cayman Islands. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all tourism partners for participating in our destination marketing campaigns, hosting of our visitors, journalists and travel agents in order to entertain, educate and transport the Cayman Islands brand worldwide.”

For more information and detailed arrival statistics, please visit the website: www.caymanislands.ky/statistics.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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St. Kitts & Nevis Welcome American Airlines’ New Non-Stop Service from Dallas/Fort Worth

Basseterre, St. Kitts (January 25, 2019) – For the first time in the island’s history, American Airlines is launching non-stop Saturday flights to the Federation of St Kitts & Nevis from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), the carrier’s largest hub, operating throughout the summer.

“The addition of a non-stop flight from Dallas/Fort Worth by American Airlines marks yet another historic first for St. Kitts & Nevis as the destination continues to build out airlift from key source markets,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “We are extremely pleased to welcome this additional service, which demonstrates American’s confidence in the Federation as a desirable destination for travelers. Further, this increases the available options for visitors and Diaspora to get to island during the summer family travel season, both non-stop from Dallas/Fort Worth as well as via one-stop connections from a number of cities in the Western US.”

American will operate the new Saturday non-stop flights from May 25 – August 17, 2019 utilizing a 128-seat Airbus A-319 aircraft with 8 First Class seats, 24 Main Cabin Extra seats and 96 main cabin seats as follows-

Flight               Depart                         Arrive

AA 2909           DFW 9:55am                SKB 3:55pm

AA 2909           SKB 4:45pm                DFW 8:45pm

*Note: Flights are listed in local time and schedules are subject to change. St. Kitts & Nevis observes Atlantic Standard Time (AST; UTC-4 hours).

“This new service to St. Kitts will not only promote travel and tourism to the island, but will also provide our local customers with one-stop access to the world-class network that we operate out of our Dallas/Fort Worth hub with plans for more than 900 daily flights to over 200 destinations around the world this summer,” said Cathy-Ann Edwards Joseph, American’s Country Manager for the Eastern Caribbean.

Complementing the new Dallas/Fort Worth flight, American also operates non-stop Saturday flights to Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport from New York-JFK and Charlotte plus daily non-stop flights (with twice daily non-stop flights from Wednesdays through Sundays) from Miami. With the addition of this new route from Dallas/Fort Worth there is a greater potential for an increase in air passenger arrivals into St. Kitts & Nevis.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Saint Lucia Records over 1.2 Million Visitors In 2018

Castries, January 17, 2019 — Saint Lucia has recorded its best performance ever in visitor arrivals, as it welcomed 1,218,294 visitors in 2018. That number represents a 10.2% increase over 2017, which was also a record-setting year for the island.

Industry figures are up across the board led by the yachting sector with a 25.9% increase over last year’s numbers. Cruising is up by 13.6%; and stay-over arrivals have increased by 2.2%.

Type of Visitor YTD Dec 2016 YTD Dec 2017 YTD Dec 2018 Actual Change Percent Change
Cruise 587,749 669,217 760,306 91,089 13.6%
Yacht 56,268 50,197 63,596 13,399 26.7%
Stay-Over 347,872 386,127 394,780 8,653 2.2%
Total 991,889 1,105,541 1,218,682 113,141 10.2%

 

At a news conference to announce the latest figures, Tourism Minister, Honourable Dominic Fedee highlighted some of the steps that have been taken to reposition Saint Lucia’s tourism product to compete among the leading destinations in the world.

“We have a very small tourism marketing budget – around US$13 million – so we have to ensure that our efforts are targeted,” Hon. Fedee said. “We use a scientific approach to select the areas where we can reach the most visitors with the highest net-worth in our marketing campaigns. For us, these areas are, predominantly, in the north-eastern USA (the Tri-state and Boston), the south-east UK region of London and its surrounding suburbs and the Greater Toronto area in Canada.

The island continues to record strong numbers in its major generating markets of the United States and the UK, realizing growths of 4.1% and 4.9% respectively. Stayover arrivals from Canada dipped slightly (5.6%) due, in part, to the absence of service from Transat Tours and a reduction in frequency of WestJet flights.

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) also focused on the Martinique market, which is the highest yielding in the Caribbean, and launched “Caribcation” in the summer of 2018 as a platform for Caribbean travelers, whose numbers grew by 1.6% over 2017.

Type of Visitor YTD Dec 2016 YTD Dec 2017 YTD Dec 2018 Actual Change Percent Change
USA 157,576 168,223 175,073 6,850 4.1%
UK 64,514 72,580 76,142 3,562 4.9%
Canada 37,772 42,578 40,213 (2,365) -5.6%
France 4,440 7,012 8,224 1,212 17.3%
Germany 2,272 2,848 2,132 (716) -25.1%
Martinique 27,654 30,302 28,805 (1,497) -4.9%
Trinidad 14,945 16,923 17,124 201 1.2%
Barbados 6,504 7,862 8,255 393 5%
Other 32,195 37,799 38,812 1,013 3%
Total 347,872 386,127 394,780 8,653 2.2%

 

A record, 760,306 cruise passengers visited the island during the period owing to an expansion of Berth #1 at Pointe Seraphine, which allowed Port Castries to accommodate Vista, Quantum and Freedom Class vessels.

Projections for 2019 look good, with British Airways pacing at 17% and Virgin Holidays at 27.9% over 2018. Condor has started an inter-airline agreement with LIAT on service from Frankfurt, Germany to Antigua and onto Saint Lucia from January 7 – March 31, 2019 and a number of other major airlines have expanded their service to the destination.

The SLTA is angling for greater growth in 2019, and will continue with its aggressive, targeted marketing campaigns to attract even more visitors to the destination.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Grenada Achieves Historic Milestone with Over 500,000 Visitor Arrivals in 2018

St. George’s, Grenada – 10th January, 2019 – Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean achieved a historic milestone in 2018 welcoming more than half a million visitors to the destination’s shores. Spread across key niche markets, the combined cruise, yachting and stay over arrivals for 2018 was 528,077 representing a 12.90% increase over 2017.

A strong performance was recorded in stay over arrivals with an increase of 9.97%, moving from 146,375 to 160,970 visitors with special mention given to the bumper Christmas season in which a growth of 17% was recorded.

Canada recorded the highest growth rate in 2018 with a 19.05% increase (14,586-17,364), followed by the USA at 12.38% (67,252-75,577) and the Caribbean at 6.87% (27,127-28,990). Significant growth was also recorded in non-traditional markets that included Latin America at 13.28% (1,265-1,433) and the category representing all other parts of the world at 18.27% (2,934-3, 470). The USA maintains the top spot in market share for arrivals to the destination at 46.93% followed by the United Kingdom.

The yachting sector recorded double-digit growth of 10.82%, with visitor arrivals moving from 21,911 to 24,281, a direct result of 428 more yacht calls. As it relates to cruise arrivals, the sector grew by 14.49% (299,449-342,826) due to larger cruise ship calls.

Speaking about Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique’s performance, Grenada Tourism Authority’s (GTA) Chief Executive Officer Patricia Maher said, “ We are delighted to surpass the historic 500,000 mark. It is a result of our hard work in lobbying airlines for more flights and the engagement of top cruise brand executives for more ship calls. I would like to thank our stakeholders for their support in ensuring our visitors continue to have wonderful experiences in the destination.”

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen also expressed her delight with the destination’s performance. She noted, “Achieving 500,000 arrivals has been a landmark goal for the destination of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. It is a testament to the growing island’s influence in the marketplace and industry growth.  But we will not stop there as we want to grow the pie so that everyone gets a bigger slice. To do that, we must continue to keep our islands pure, share our warmth and hospitality with visitors, as well as deliver high quality professional service.”

Additionally, the GTA launched a destination shopping video, which highlighted the destination’s diverse offerings. All levels of shopping experiences were displayed including art, craft, glass products, clothing, spices and batik. GTA Product Development Manager Kirl Hoschtialek, says, “The shopping video is one of our strategies in improving the destination’s profile as it relates to shopping experiences which were highlighted in visitor surveys as needing improvement.” The video will be shared locally, regionally and internationally especially at the St. George’s Cruise Terminal.

The GTA is optimistic about 2019 and anticipates deeper collaboration with stakeholders to strive for Pure Grenada’s global brand recognition as a premier tourist destination.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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