Cruise ship arrivals in TT has increased by approximately 145 per cent, with 91,889 passengers visiting the country for the 2018 cruise season, an increase from 37,457 in 2017.
The Ministry of Tourism presented this information in a press release yesterday following Tourism Minister Randall Mitchell's discussions with major cruise line executives last week.
The discussions took place during the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Conference and Trade Show held in Puerto Rico from November 5 to 9.
A release from the Ministry of Tourism said Mitchell attended the event, which was also attended by more than 100 cruise executives and 30 regional government officials, including the Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and St. Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.
The release quotes a 2018 Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) study which stated TT experienced growth in cruise arrivals of 145.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2017.
Mitchell said he was, “pleased to note that this growth included notable increases in arrivals at both islands.”
In October, the Ministry said in the 2017/2018 season Trinidad (this does not include Tobago figures) received 47,526 visitors, almost doubling the 25,059 visitors of the previous year.
The ministry noted that its statistics were aggregated by cruise season (November to April).
“The cruise sector is one in which ship itineraries are often booked long in advance, so attending conferences like these and understanding what the decision-makers value is essential not just for short-term gains but to lay the groundwork for sustainable, consistent growth in arrivals,” Mitchell is quoted as saying.
The release described the executives as the key decision makers in the cruise industry, who decide where ships call, what is sold and used on board and influence investment in destinations and infrastructure.
It adds that the cruise industry is the fastest growing segment of the worldwide leisure travel market, experiencing an average passenger growth rate of 7 per cent annually since 1980.