Following a rebound year for Caribbean travel with increased competition throughout the region, the Cayman Islands maintained its market share with another year of record-breaking arrivals.
2018 surpassed all previous years of recorded visitation with a record 2,384,058 passengers.
This represents an 11.05% increase over the same period in 2017 (237,211 additional persons). 2018 also saw an increase in stay-over visitation with 463,001 guests – representing an increase of 10.66% (44,598 additional visitors). Overall, 2018, was a year of exciting “firsts” for the destination:
The Cayman Islands welcomed over 450,000 stay-over visitors for the first time.
Arrivals in 2018 represent the highest number of stay-over visits for a calendar year in recorded history (surpassing Jan-Dec 2017).
As a double accomplishment in “firsts,” more than 50,000 stay-over visitors travelled to the destination within a single month, happening twice in 2018: March and December.
2018 saw a 7.46% increase in Canadian arrivals with 26,603 Canadian travellers descending on the destination. What’s more, 2018 saw five months of record Canadian visitation in January, May, September, November and December. The increase in demand for Canadian travel to Cayman has led to stable increases in Air Canada’s capacity to the destination, while WestJet increased flight frequency as well. Both airlines will increase the frequency of their non-stop summer flights from Toronto to Grand Cayman to twice a week from May to October 2019.
“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, Rosa Harris. “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.”
In 2018, the US, 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 Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and our island partners in Grand Cayman are thrilled to see a continuation in record breaking Canadian visitation to the destination,” said Raymond Mathias, business development manager for the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. “We are delighted with the expanded airlift service and the positive impact this has had on driving travel to the destination, as we continue to build on the growth we’ve already seen in 2018.”