Belize City- According to ‘Caribbean Business’, a Caricom publication, a record 30 million people visited the Caribbean last year,
regional tourism officials said Thursday.
Visitors spent a record total of US$37 billion, up nearly 3 per cent compared with 2016, according to Ryan Skeete, acting research director for the Caribbean Tourism Organization. The majority of visitors came from the United States, and there was a surge of travelers from Canada and Europe.
Officials said last year 27 million cruise ship passengers visited the region and they estimate that overall visits and cruise arrivals will increase by up to 3 per cent this year.
It is the eighth consecutive year of growth for the Caribbean, despite some countries reporting a 20 per cent drop in visitors in the
aftermath of hurricanes Irma & Maria, during which popular destinations such as Sint Maarten, Anguilla and Dominica were badly hit. Belize has also seen healthy tourism arrivals during 2017; a trend which is expected to continue into the year 2018.