According to officials, visitors to the Caribbean increased last year in proportions not seen since the epidemic started, exceeding even pre-pandemic tourist visits in American territories like Puerto Rico and the Dutch Caribbean.
According to the Caribbean Tourist Organization, the number of visitors to the area increased by more than 50% in 2022 to over 28 million.
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Kenneth Bryan, the organization’s chairman, said during a news conference in Barbados, “It’s clearly apparent that even in the face of the devastating blows delivered by the pandemic, as a region, we have responded with hope, strength, and determination to prevail.”
With 14.6 million American visitors visiting the area last year, up three million from the year before, the US market accounted for more than 50% of arrivals. The number of tourists from Europe roughly quadrupled to 5.2 million during this time. The number of Canadian visitors did not increase as anticipated, with just about 2.1 million being recorded.
As one of the regions of the globe most dependent on tourism, governments, tourist authorities, and local businesses applauded the rise in visitors.
The acting secretary general of the tourist organization, Neil Walters, said that “The Caribbean region (had) one of the quickest recovery rates in 2022.”
Six nations and islands, including Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the US Virgin Islands, exceeded the total number of arrivals prior to the epidemic, according to Walters.
Also, there was a significant increase in cruise ship guests last year, with 19.2 million trips reported, a five-fold increase over the year before. The record 30.4 million visits announced in 2019 were not reached, nevertheless.
With the exception of Haiti, almost all tourist sites reported an increase in tourists. Nevertheless, Haiti suffered a more than 20% decrease due to an increase in gang violence and political unrest.
According to Bryan, tourism authorities anticipate that overall visitor numbers to the Caribbean will rise by up to 15% this year and may even approach pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, the Caribbean welcomed a record 32 million visitors, a figure that fell by 65% the following year when the epidemic started.