Significant tool

Significant tool

Some good news is reported in today’s edition, as the number of non-resident air arrivals during the first quarter increased from 123,201 to 131,322 compared to the same period in 2023. That amounts to a hike of 7%, which is not great compared to several other Caribbean destinations but certainly better than nothing.

January and February (both 15%) noticeably produced more positive results than March (-10%). The latter is reason for some concern, with drops from the main markets North America (-6%) and Europe (-22%).

While the former still shows an overall growth of 9% over the entire quarter thanks to the first two months, Europe actually saw a decline, although of only 1%. It will be interesting to see the figures going forward starting in April to determine of there is any negative trend.

One welcome development has been Latin America, which recorded monthly increases of respectively 30, 31% and 42%. The totals are still relatively modest, but this region clearly holds considerable potential.

A need to diversify the local economy is often mentioned. However, that may also be achieved within the hospitality industry; for example, by targeting other source markets than the traditional Top-2.

Dong so can also help make the island’s tourism less seasonal rather than concentrated mostly during winter in the Northern Hemisphere. This has essential social benefits like stabler employment.

With 7.30% additional passengers and 5.22% ship calls in the first quarter, the cruise sector seems to be faring well. January saw drops in both categories, but these were more than made up for in February and March.

Important is to continue focussing on the so-called conversion of cruisers into future stay-over guests. This has proven a significant tool in the past.

The Daily Herald

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