Data from the Caribbean Tourism Organization – the trade organization whose main objective is the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of Caribbean people – indicate that 25 million tourists visited the Caribbean region in 2013 spending approximately US$28.1 billion. Furthermore, the United States maintained its position as the main market for stopover visitors to the region, representing 12.3 million or just about half of the tourist arrivals. Also emerging markets such as South America have had consistent growth in the last five years with 70% more visitors over 2009 figures.
Europe accounted for 4.7 million or 18.9% of visitor arrivals, while 3 million Canadians visited the region, amounting to 12.3% of the total stopover visitors. Interregional tourism represented 6.4% of stopover visitors with nearly 1.6 million people travelling between the Caribbean islands for tourism purposes. The Dominican Republic maintained its four-year lead with 4.6 million visitors, followed by Cuba with 2.8 million and Jamaica with 2 million passengers. Puerto Rico, which recorded 1.5 million visitors, and the Bahamas, with 1.3 million, rounded out the top five preferred destinations.
Meanwhile, 45.3% of global cruise passengers were hosted in the Caribbean region, amounting to 21.8 million people. The Bahamas was the top destination for cruise arrivals with 4.7 million passengers followed by the US Virgin Islands in a distant second with 1.9 million cruise visitors. St. Maarten, the Cayman Islands, and Jamaica completed the top five cruise destinations in the region. For further insight, check out the infographic below.
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