Tourist spend on course to surpass $2 billion

BARBADOS seems on course to surpass the two billion spent last year by visitors to the island.

Recent figures indicated that between January and September this year spending amounted to $1.6 billion, higher than for the same period last year.

“With arrivals for the coming winter looking good, it is expected that inflows from tourism will continue to do well,” a source close to the industry stated.

Last year a total of more than one million cruise and long-stay arrivals descended on the island, resulting in inflows totalling some two billion dollars, bettering the $1.8 billion in 2015.

Some 486 000 long-stay visitors came to Barbados in the nine months to September. Those numbers represent a four per cent increase, compared to 2.8 per cent previously. The cruise sector also recorded a 17.6 per cent hike.

“The improved tourism performance for the first nine months of the year enabled the external current account to stabilise,” said Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Cleviston Haynes.

He reported that the performance of the industry in 2017 was tempered by a 21.3 per cent decline in arrivals during the third quarter, due to a fall-off in cruise calls. The cruise lines had adjusted their September itineraries following the impact of unfavourable weather conditions.

However, the industry is expected to see additional flights in the latter months of the year while a major hotel chain appears set to open its doors to business either by month end or very early in December.

In the meantime, the International Business Sector – the country’s other main foreign exchange earner – saw revenue of $814.7 million during the same nine months.

This is the highest third quarter earnings in recent years.

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