Written by on February 10, 2017

Tourism in the Caribbean region is at an all-time high.

Yesterday, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) High Riley, made the announcement while presenting the Caribbean Tourism Performance Report 2016.

Riley noted that Caribbean tourism last year surpassed 29 million arrivals for the first time ever, and is growing faster than the global average.

For 2016, Caribbean tourism increased by 4.2%, depicting continuous growth for a 7th straight year. Visitor expenditure also hit an all-time high, growing by an estimated 3.5% to reach a US$35.5 billion.

The U.S. remains the Caribbean’s primary market, however Europe recorded the highest rate of growth, led by strong increases from Germany and the U.K. The South American market also increased, but the rise is believed to be the result of political instability.

Intra-Caribbean travel also so increased for the second straight year, by 3.6%.

Cruise arrivals all grew – but a small percentage, and the hotel sector recorded negative growth, most likely due to travelers using other means of lodging such as AirBnB and private rentals.

Surprisingly, Canada – which is a major market for the Caribbean, recorded a decrease in travelers for the first time since 1994, with 3.3 million arrivals.

For 2017, the Caribbean Tourism Organization is predicting the rise in regional visitors will continue to increase by a minimum 3%.

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