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Though in the midst of a global financial crisis, we are doing better than last year: Caesar

Though in the midst of a global financial crisis, we are doing better than last year: Caesar

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St Vincent and the Grenadines has recorded mixed fortunes in relation to visitor arrivals during the months of January to September, 2011.{{more}}

According to a monthly report on visitor arrivals to the country produced by the Tourism Authority, there was an increase of 2.1 per cent in Stay Over visitors in January to September of 2011 when compared to January to September of 2010.

The report also reflected an increase of 7.4 per cent in the yachting sub-sector.

Minister of Tourism, Saboto Caesar explained that “even though we are in the midst of a global financial crisis, our stay overs and our yachting, we are doing better than last year.”

Caesar also noted that in comparison, there are many neighbouring islands that are down in both stay over visitors and yachting.

According to the Tourism Authority report, dated September 2011, there were 55,479 Stay Over visitors by air in the months January to September, 2011, compared to 54,322 between the same periods in 2010.

However, the report reflected decreases in Same Day and Cruise Ship visitors.

Same Day visitors are those who arrive on the island by plane and leave the same day; during the period January to September, 2011, there were 3,136 such visitors, while in 2010 there were 3,999, a decrease of 21.6 per cent.

With regard to the Cruise Ship arrivals, there was a 16.8 per cent decrease. During January to September, 2011, there were 58,695 cruise visitors in comparison with January to September, 2010, when the arrival figures were 70,573.

“We are ensuring that we are engaging in the requisite private and public sector relations to ensure that our Cruise sub-sector … figures will continue to grow and not decrease. Right now we are down this year by 16.8,” Caesar said.

The Minister explained that during his attendance of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), held in Puerto Rico in August, one of the main issues that was highlighted was cruise ships are now choosing the Northern routes.

“Dominica, for example, would have suffered significantly. It is basically the plea of every Ministry of Tourism of the Southern Caribbean, to have their numbers for their cruise sub-sector increase.

“So, it’s not something that is isolated to St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Caesar noted.

He further warned citizens that whilst they may see a cruise ship docking in another island, “you draw a negative comparison between St Vincent and the Grenadines and that island.

“You also have to note that we are developing in St Vincent and the Grenadines a very diversified tourism product…” the Tourism minister added.

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