Overview:I am going to discuss, in greater detail, the Caribbean tourism performance in 2016 and what to
expect in 2017. 2016 marked another record-setting year as for the first time in our history we received over
29 million arrivals. This is also the 7th consecutive year of growth and our estimated 4.2% increase in
tourism trips is the 3rd consecutive year above the global growth rate. Moreover, the average annual growth
rate over the last 7 years slightly exceeded the average annual global growth rate of international trips. The
performance in 2016 was primarily supported by sustained economic growth in the US, our main source
market, and relatively low oil prices. Following an increase in the Caribbean market share of global visits in
2015, rising by 0.1 percentage points, it remained steady at 2.4% in 2016. Nevertheless, negative events
such as a weak Canadian dollar and the most active hurricane season since 2012, especially in October, no
doubt contributed to preventing our region from reaching the coveted target of 30 million arrivals. Among
the destinations, tourist arrivals showed uneven growth. Of the 28 destinations reporting data for varying
periods between January and December, 22 recorded increases ranging from quite modest to a robust
17.5% (the Turks & Caicos Islands), while the remaining six destinations experienced declines. Besides Turks
and Caicos Islands, 4 countries, Belize, Cuba, Guyana, and Bermuda reported double digit growth rates. The
contributing factors to these performances included greater air access from the source markets to the region
and the realization of significant investments to enhance infrastructure (airport redevelopment) and product
(hotels). With the exception of the Dutch Caribbean[1] (-5.6%), the major Caribbean sub-regions reported
healthy growth. The Other Caribbean[2] countries’ market, which accounts for almost half of all arrivals to the
region, recorded the fastest growth rate (7.4%) in 2016. The Commonwealth Caribbean[3] and French
Caribbean[4] grew by 4.1% and 4.2%, respectively. Market TrendsA further look into the performance of our
major source markets reveals that demand for Caribbean vacations rose in all of them, except Canada, which
fell by 3.4%. A weak currency and sluggish first half economic output contributed to the decline in Canadian
trips to the Caribbean. More than 70% of the reporting destinations reported decreases in arrivals from this
market. Consequently, Canadian market share fell to 11.3%. There were over 14.6 million U.S. visits to the
region, 3.5% more than the previous year. This performance was attributed to solid economic growth, low
unemployment rate and high consumer confidence in the US. In particular, seven destinations recorded
double-digit increases within their reporting periods. This group includes Belize, the Turks & Caicos Islands,
Bermuda, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada and Montserrat, while declines were recorded in six
destinations. Arrivals from the European market totaled 5.6 million and improved by an estimated 11.4%,
the strongest growth among the main markets, in spite of terrorist attacks in some countries, the Brexit
referendum and mixed economic outcomes across continental Europe. In total, 72% of the reporting
destinations registered increases in arrivals from this market. The top performing destinations, which
registered double-digit increases, were the Turks & Caicos Islands, St. Maarten, Guyana and Anguilla.
Caribbean intra-regional travel broke another record in 2016, as arrivals rose by 3.6% to register just over
1.7 million trips, the second consecutive year of growth. Robust double-digit growth was experienced in
Guyana, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and the Turks & Caicos Islands. The region received about 11% fewer
tourist arrivals from South America in 2016 compared to 2015. Hotel TrendsThe improvement in arrivals to
the Caribbean was not reflected in improved hotel performance. According to Smith Travel Research[5], the
primary revenue metrics were slightly down. The average daily rate (ADR) fell by less than a dollar to US$
201.50 and revenue per available room contracted by 2.6% to US$ 134.48 while occupancy fell by 1.6
percentage points to 66.7%. This outcome reflects the rise of the sharing economy and additional hotel room
stock. However, it is important to note that the hotel revenue indicators are still above the performances
recorded between 2012 and 2014. Cruise Trends2016 was also a record breaking year for Caribbean
cruising, as, cruise passenger arrivals to the region grew by about 1.3% to reach 26.3 million, in line with
expectations at the beginning of 2016. Larger ships, port enhancements and new destinations on the
Caribbean cruise itineraries helped to increase the attractiveness of Caribbean cruise holidays. Overall, only
48% of the reporting destinations registered growth with the best performances occurring in the Dominican
Republic, the British Virgin Islands and Grenada, which all grew by double digits, while Belize became the
eighth destination to record over one million cruise passenger visits this year. In total, the Caribbean received
33.7% of all cruise deployments in 2016. Visitor expenditureConsistent with increases in stay-over and cruise
visits, total visitor expenditure is estimated to have increased by approximately 3.5% to reach US$35.5
billion. Outlook2016 saw the election of a new Republican Administration in the United States and the
success of a referendum which mandates that the United Kingdom withdraw from the European Union. Both
these events raise the level of global uncertainty, which could impact the performance of tourism in 2017 and
beyond. Cuba was the destination that offered the greatest growth potential. However, at the end of 2016,
several US-based airlines, citing reduced demand, announced they were cutting some of the promised
capacity for 2017 to the destination. Altogether, we expect that tourist arrivals to the region will grow at a
slower rate of between 2.5 and 3.5% in 2017. Further expansion of the cruise industry is expected in 2017,
as 26 new vessels with a combined capacity of over 30 thousand passengers are expected to sail from the
shipyards. The anticipated rise in cruise passenger arrivals to the region is projected to be between 1.5%
and 2.5%.