Cayman Islands versus Barbados versus St.Lucia.
Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and St. Lucia are all incredibly popular tourist destinations. In 2016 Barbados had 631,513 stay-over visitors while St. Lucia had 347,872 stay-over visitors that same year. In 2017, the Cayman Islands had 418,403 visitors. Travelers from the United Kingdom visit Barbados most frequently, and visitors from the United States visit the Cayman Islands and St. Lucia most frequently. Barbados offers a range of events and activities and experienced a 6.7% increase in traffic from 2015 to 2016.
Barbados had 631,513 stay-over visitors in 2016. Its top performing months were December, November, February, and January, with over sixty thousand visitors during each of those months. Every month except April saw an increase in visitors in 2016.
Stay-over visitors to Barbados spent an average of $167.41 per day in 2016, compared to $164.40 during 2015. The United States increased its average visitor spending by 18.5% from 2015-2016, the United Kingdom increased its spending by 12.6%, Canada by 7.4%, and the Caribbean by 1.3%.
The United Kingdom accounts for thirty-five percent of all stay-over visitors to Barbados, with 218,638 visitors in 2016, a 2.1% increase from the previous year. The United States accounts for twenty-seven percent of visitors with 168,945 in 2016, a 14.1% increase since 2015.
Barbados boasts a wide variety of activities and sights for visitors to engage in. They offer "beach volleyball, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, sailing and jet-skiing," as well as forts, the UNESCO World Heritage site Bridgetown, and much more. They also host various events, including the Dragon World Championships, the Barbados beach Wellness Festival, and the Barbados Food, Wine, and Run Festival, among others.
2017 was a record-breaking year for the Cayman Islands, with 418,403 stay-over visitors and 1,728,444 cruisers visiting the Islands. 49,003 stay-over visitors flew to the Cayman Islands in December 2017, an increase of 21.61% over the previous year. Increases in visitors in December from the United States and Canada (27.43% and 22.71% respectively) helped fuel this trend.
Stay-over guests to the Cayman Island spent an average of $183.52 per person in 2017, compared to $175.60 in 2016. Cruise passenger spending increased as well, from $90.05 per person in 2016 to $93.50 in 2017.
The United States had the most stay-over visitors to the Cayman Islands in 2017 with 256,760, followed by Canada (17,282 visitors), the United Kingdom and Ireland (10,871 visitors), Continental Europe (6,649 visitors) and Latin America (5,302 visitors).
Several programs instituted by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (DOT) put forth a marketing plan to increase global awareness of the Islands. The "Worry Free Hurricane Guarantee" was launched in June 2017 gave tourists "peace of mind" during Hurricane Season. June 2017 also saw the beginning of non-stop flights from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Grand Cayman. In July 2017 DOT launched the Cayman Vows Magazine to help visitors plan weddings at the Cayman Islands, and DOT also partnered with Chef'D, a meal kit delivery service, to develop "destination inspired meal kits" for visitors. The DOT is crediting these programs and others with bringing more tourists to the Cayman Islands in 2017 than ever before.
St. Lucia attracted 347,872 stay-over visitors in 2016, an increase from 344,908 visitors in 2015. There were 587,749 cruise visitors in St. Lucia in 2016, down from 677,394 in 2015.
Visitors to St. Lucia in 2016 spent an average of $239.80 per day. Visitors from the United States spent the most at $320.81 per day, which makes up fifty-five percent of all spending in St. Lucia.
The United States sent the most visitors to St. Lucia in 2016 with 157,576 visitors. The Caribbean sent 67,226 visitors in 2016, and the United Kingdom followed with 64,514 visitors.
St. Lucia has a variety of unique attractions, including sulfur springs, a drive-in volcano, the St. Lucia Jazz Festival, and Carnival, along with hiking, swimming, horseback riding, snorkeling, fishing, and diving, among others. St. Lucia is also a popular wedding destination.
Barbados had 631,513 stay-over visitors in 2016, compared to 418,403 for the Cayman Islands in 2017 and 347,872 visitors in 2016 to St. Lucia. The United Kingdom sends the most tourists to Barbados, while the United States sends the most to the Cayman Islands and St. Lucia. Barbados experienced growth in visitor numbers for every month of 2016 except April and continued to be one of the most popular holiday destination sites in the Caribbean. These numbers indicate that these will continue to be popular destinations for visitors in the coming years.