Growth was spread across key niche markets: the combined cruise, yachting and stay over arrivals for 2018 was 528,077, an increase of 12.90% over 2017.
Stay over arrivals rose by 9.97%, up from 146,375 to 160,970 visitors. Tourism officials especially note the bumper Christmas season, with growth up by 17%.
The island’s key source markets delivered double-digit growth. Canada recorded the highest growth rate in 2018 – up by 19.05% (14,586-17,364), followed by the USA at 12.38% (67,252-75,577). Non-traditional markets also delivered significant growth, with visitors from Latin America up 13.28% (1,265-1,433) and the category representing all other parts of the world at 18.27% (2,934-3, 470). Visitors from the Caribbean increased by 6.87% (27,127-28,990).
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 growing from 21,911 to 24,281, a direct result of 428 more yacht calls.
Cruise arrivals grew by 14.49% (299,449-342,826) due to calls by larger cruise ships.
The duty free offer on the island is keeping pace with the tourism growth. Rouge Duty Free opened 3,000 sq. feet of new retail space on the newly opened second level at Maurice Bishop International Airport.