BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday, October 29, 2012 – When annual statistics are examined, for the last five years Canada is the only source market to show increases in tourist arrivals every year.
This was stated by Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) Secretary General, Hugh Riley, as he recently addressed the media in Toronto as part of the programme for Caribbean Week in Toronto.
Riley described Canada as the most consistent of the major markets providing visitors to the Caribbean, and he highlighted that Canada has accounted for around 14% of total arrivals to the Caribbean for the past 5 years.
He also illustrated using a table collating tourist arrivals for the first half of 2012 that Canadian visitors had shown a 5.3% growth in arrivals over the same period last year, which was ahead of the curve for total arrivals, which recorded an overall 5.4% increase.
However, while he noted that this market has displayed the greatest buoyancy in light of all the economic turmoil that currently exists internationally and the numbers keep increasing, he acknowledged that research shows that visitors from this market are also spending with great caution.
He gave the example that average daily spending by Canadians in one CTO member country is estimated to have declined by as much as 14% in the last quarter, for instance.
Riley also spoke of other positive developments in this market with a number of new arriving flights from Canada, including the twice weekly schedule by WestJet out of Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to Antigua that started yesterday (October 28). WestJet is also slated to commence daily flights to Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, on November 16, 2012
He also announced that the Air Canada service introduced last year will be resuming on December 21, 2012 with non-stop flights to St Kitts from Toronto departing on Fridays.
Riley also spoke of direct engagements in Canada launched by some Caribbean destinations, such as the training course conducted in the summer for more than 80 travel agents in Canada to equip them to become Discover Dominica Destination Specialists; and the roadshow with hoteliers, restaurateurs and destination points of interest that Trinidad and Tobago will be organising in the first week of December in Toronto, as well as Ottawa and Montreal.
Trinidad & Tobago Tourism will also host the Canadian travel media, travel wholesalers and travel agents at the annual Wedding Symposium in Tobago from November 25 – 30, 2012.