Cruise Ship Passengers Dominate Increase In Tourist Arrivals

By the end of the 2012 calendar year, more than 3.3 Million people had arrived on Jamaica’s shores. diGJamaica tabulates that of this total 1.98 Million were long-stay visitors, while 1.32 Million arrived via Cruise Ship. Total visitor arrivals increased by 7%, mostly driven by Cruise Ship Arrivals.

Jamaica_tourism_year
Source: Jamaica Tourist Board

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As cruise ship visitors continue to increase, the share of the pie continues to shift: In 2010 it was long-stay 68%, cruise-ship 32%, now in 2012 it is long-stay 60%, cruise ship 40%. Fortunately, the pie also grew by over 470,000 arrivals.

jamaica_tourism_longstay_visitors
Source: Jamaica Tourist Board

Click here to see accompanying Motion Chart

1.98 Million is quite a good number of people, but as the graph above shows, the growth in long-stay arrivals since 2010 has been slow. Only an additional 64,407 persons have arrived to stay for any extended period since 2010. As we well know, the long-stay visitors drive growth in the hotel industry and infuse much needed foreign exchange into the nation’s economy. The growth in long-stay arrivals for 2012 over 2011 was 1.7%.

Meanwhile, a record 1.32 Million persons visited Jamaica via cruise ship, Jamaica’s second consecutive year over 1 Million cruise-ship arrivals. 2012’s growth represented a 17% increase over 2011.

jamaica_tourism_cruiseship_visitors
Source: Jamaica Tourist Board

Click here to see accompanying Motion Chart

diGJamaica is enthusiastic about the dramatic increase in cruise-ship passengers over the last two years and would like to see that trend continue. Jamaica must find ways of capitalising economically from the short stay that the cruise-ship passengers have.