Decline in tourist arrivals expected

The Barbados- based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is predicting a slowdown in the growth of tourist arrivals for the remainder of the year as the region comes to grip with the destruction caused by three Hurricanes to several Eastern Caribbean islands.

CTO chairman, Joy Jibrilu said that the Caribbean had been performing at a healthy growth rate of 5.2 per cent between January and June, when compared to the same period last year.

She said growth during that period reflected economic stability in the market, expansion of flights by major carriers and new marketing and product development initiatives.

The CTO chairman noted that during the first six months, the region recorded 16.6 million international tourist arrivals, some 800,000 more than in the first six months of 2016 of 2016.

She said growth was recorded in all major source markets except South America, which contracted by 14.3 percent.

Jibrilu said that up to June, the European market had grown by 7.9 percent, Canada by 6.4 percent and despite the weak sterling currency, the United Kingdom had registered 4.8 percent growth.

She claimed with the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria the growth rate will slow down in the remaining quarter of this year.