BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — During the first six months of 2015 Barbados recorded 303,592 long stay visitors, the first time the destination has ever topped 300,000 visitors in the Jan. – June period in the 29 years of recording air arrivals tourism statistics.
Arrivals rose by 14.3% — or 37,945 more passenger arrivals– over the comparative period in 2014.
The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc noted that visitor spend was up by 5% though there was a reduction in the average length of stay. He cited a number of macro-economic factors including the UK APD adjustments, which took effect during the last quarter; falling unemployment in the US; and lower oil prices reducing the cost of business and improved travel schedules within the Caribbean region. An economic slow-down in Europe, lower oil receipts in Trinidad and economic challenges in Latin America, he observed, represented the major downsides.
The local cruise tourism continued to hold its own during the period Apr. – June of 2015 with preliminary figures showing there were 52 cruise ship calls and 115, 231 cruise passenger arrivals – an increase of six percent in calls and 12 percent in passenger arrivals for the same period in 2014.
BTMI Chairman Alvin Jemmott commented:
“This exceptional double-digit performance has been credited as the primary reason for the 0.5 percent increase in local GDP and comes against the backdrop of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) five percent growth projection for our region for 2015. It also surpasses the global industry forecast issued by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in January this year for international tourist arrivals to increase by 3 to 4 percent. Indeed, we are even above our own internal target for the year.”