BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday July 18, 2016 – It’s news any tourism dependent destination longs to hear – visitors are shelling out more money while on holiday. That’s the case for Barbados, where visitors spent 20 per cent more money during the first quarter of this year than they did for the same period last year.
The findings are contained in the quarterly survey conducted by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).
According to the report, total visitor expenditure on island grew from US$280 million to US$337 million in the first three months. This was achieved through a 14.9 per cent increase in visitor average length of stay and a total growth of 7.4 per cent in visitor arrivals.
Overall, Barbados was able to achieve growth in the average length of stay for all markets during the period, with the exception of the Caribbean which remained unchanged. This resulted in an overall increase of 8.9 per cent in the visitor expenditure per person per trip.
The Biggest Spenders
Additionally, all markets, with the exception of the Caribbean, recorded increases in visitor expenditure per person per trip. The United States led the way with an significant 42.4 per cent increase in spending by American guests.
On the other hand, the Caribbean was the only market that did not record an increase in the visitor expenditure per person per trip. Instead, there was a 28 per cent reduction in average daily spend from that market.
A breakdown of the spending by market during the first quarter revealed that the visitors from the US market spent the most on average per day – US$240.78 which is an increase of US$43.75.
This coincides with an improved US economy and lower oil prices, as well as additional airlift out of Boston and New York during the reporting period, which generated more than 4800 additional seats.
Visitors from the UK contributed to 43 per cent of the overall total expenditure with US$146 million, an increase of US$23 million. Total expenditure by visitors from the US and Canada followed with US$83 million and US $53 million, respectively.
Meanwhile, spend by European visitors totaled US$27 million, an increase of eight per cent.
On island spend by travelers from other countries, which include Latin America, Asia and Africa rose by three per cent to approximately US $10 million.
“We continue to be very encouraged by the positive direction in visitor arrivals and, even more importantly, in visitor expenditure,” said CEO of The Barbados Tourism Marking Inc. (BTMI), William Griffith.
“Hoteliers had predicted a strong first quarter and these results reflect that expectation. This is just one quarter so we continue to be very cognizant and focused on sustained success in the tourism sector.”