The region’s tourism outperformed the rest of the world in the first half of 2021, according to preliminary data from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).
Tourist arrivals are still below pre-pandemic numbers however, in absolute terms, steady improvement was seen. Arrival numbers increased from one million in April to 1.2 million in May, then to 1.5 million in June, according to data compiled by the CTO’s research department.
“These are encouraging signs that the hard work our member countries have put into adapting to the changing environment of the pandemic is beginning to pay dividends,” said CTO’s Acting Secretary General, Neil Walters.
“Even as we embrace a recovery mind-set and the opportunities the pandemic has given us, we must continue to be mindful of the challenges we currently face and the potential challenges a dynamic situation like the pandemic can present. The Caribbean tourism sector is known to be one of the most resilient in the world,” he added.
The first-half-year performance was boosted by a second-quarter spurt when overnight tourist visits to the Caribbean jumped between 10 and 37 times greater than those in the corresponding months in 2020.
This is being attributed to a rise in outbound travel from the region’s primary market, the United States, where tourist visits reached 4.3 million in the first half of the year, a 21.7 per cent increase. Other contributing factors included the easing of some travel restrictions and an increase in airlift.