Cayman Tourism Reaches an All-Time High in 2019

Article Snapshot

  • In the first three months of 2019, the Cayman Islands saw 145,804 stayover visitors – an 8.67% increase from the same period in 2018.
  • The estimated visitor spend for the first quarter period was $235 million.
  • Cruise ship passengers decreased slightly from 671,935 in the first quarter of 2018 to 641,045 in 2019.
  • March saw the largest amount of visitors ever recorded, with 59,563 stayover visitors.
  • The Department of Tourism states that the newly-launched direct flight to Colorado contributed to high number of visitors in March; 638 people flew to the island from Denver.
  • Starting June 15th, 2019, Southwest Airlines will offer new direct flights to/from Baltimore and Washington.
  • The Department of Tourism expects to see a continued increase in visitors during the 2nd quarter of 2019.

Cayman Tourism Soars

Our beautiful little island is no longer a best-kept secret; in the first three months of 2019 Cayman saw 145,804 stayover visitors – a staggering 8.67% increase over the first three months of 2018. Cruise ship passengers decreased slightly from 671,935 in the first quarter of 2018 to 641,045 in 2019, but the estimated visitor spend for that time period still peaked at $235 million.

The Department of Tourism states that the newly-launched direct flight to Colorado contributed to high number of visitors in March; 638 people flew to the island from Denver. Starting June 15th, 2019, Southwest Airlines will offer new direct flights to/from Baltimore and Washington.

Cayman’s company formation sector is also booming; a record-breaking 16,326 companies were formed in Cayman last year.

Plans for the Future

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkonnell stated that “The Cayman Islands should be proud of its record-breaking stayover performance in the first quarter of 2019.”

As we move into the second quarter, the Department of Tourism is looking forward to the results from the recent launch of the USA-focused Dream in Cayman campaign. According to Kirkonnell, the campaign “pushes the boundaries of destination advertising.”

The summer promotion “Kids Culinary Capital of the Caribbean,” will also encourage an increase in visitors by featuring hands-on culinary activities for children, as well as exceptional offers for families to take advantage of.

The Department of Tourism will continue to develop innovative and authentic strategies for attracting travelers from all over the world.

Traffic Takes a Toll

With bumper-to-bumper traffic regularly seen on West Bay Road, one cannot help but wonder what solutions will be proposed as the need for additional roadways becomes ever-more apparent.

For many commuters, the increased number of visitors has had a noticeable effect on traffic both in and out of Georgetown. Those commuting from Bodden Town and beyond have come to expect a lengthy commute between the hours of 7am and 9am. As taxis and shuttles work overtime to transport cruise shippers, car rentals are high in demand.

Infrastructure Minister Joey Hew has recognized the need for change, stating that “We must look at things such as hop-on and hop-off buses along the Seven Mile corridor and also into George Town,” he said. “We must start considering things like airport park-and-rides and downtown park-and-rides, water taxis, an airport express from the hotels running on a regular basis.”