Long-stay arrivals down
Long-stay arrivals for the month of November showed a decline of 1,000 visitors or a decrease of 2.5 per cent when compared to the same period for 2012.
This added to the overall decline in long-stay visitor arrivals for the January to November period.
Cumulatively there was a decline of 5.8 per cent or a decrease of 27,778 visitors when compared to the previous year. When compared with 2011, it represented a decline of almost 60,000 visitors for the period under review.
According to Sue Springer, executive director of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA), the decline was being “manifested in the tax collections of Government, a drop in our Tourism Fund revenues and a decline in employment”.
Looking back at the year that was Springer told Barbados TODAY: “2013 was a challenging year in many ways, a year marked by both man-made and terrible natural disasters, a year that saw many changes within the global tourism arena and a year that forcibly highlighted to us that the need for strong leadership and implementation of policies is imperative for the survival of our industry and by extension Barbados”.
Despite a drop in long-stay visitor arrivals cruise ship arrivals for the January to August period last year showed an increase of 36,463 passengers or just about 10.6 per cent when compared to same period for 2012. The Barbados Port Authority projected an increase in cruise calls and passenger arrivals from 6.5 per cent
or 616,317 passenger arrivals in 2012 to 656,083 in 2013, with a further growth of 5 per cent to total 688,152 passengers based on current bookings for 2014.
The increase in cruise ship calls was also projected to move from a total of 356 in 2012, to a 4.5 per cent increase or 372 in 2013, and to 395 in 2014, a further increase of 6.2 per cent.
“A number of European operators have made inaugural calls during this 2013/14 season including MSC’s Musica and NCL’s Breakaway. A number of ships will return in 2014 after a break [inlcuding] the Jewel of the Seas, the Royal Princess and the Costa Mediterranea,” said Springer.