The November 2018 edition of the United Nation’s World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Tourism Barometer shows that while global tourist stopover arrivals grew by 5.4% in the first nine months of 2018, from 1.027 billion visits in 2017 to 1.083 billion visits this year, stopover arrivals in the Caribbean fell by 8.3% in the same nine months.
The UNWTO estimates that stopovers visits to the Caribbean declined 9.4% in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the same three months of 2017, were down 9.6% in the second quarter and declined by 5.5% in the third quarter.
The Asia and Pacific region saw the fastest growth in the first nine months of 2018, up by 6.6%, while Europe (+5.6%) and the Middle East (+ 5.6%) also saw good growth. Trips to North America grew by 4.7%.
For more information go to http://mkt.unwto.org
According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Las Vegas saw the volume of visitors increase by 2.1% in October 2018, growing from 3,604,300 visitors in October 2017 to 3,680,600 arrivals in October 2018.
Las Vegas had 147,598 hotel rooms in October (up 0.7% compared with October 2017) and achieved an average city-wide room occupancy of 91.4% (up 1.4 percentage points compared with October 2017), an ADR of $142.43, (up 2.6% compared with October 2017) and a RevPar of $130.18, up 4.2% also compared with October 2017.
Through the first ten months of 2018 Las Vegas saw a 1.0% decrease in the volume of visitors, falling from 35,718,800 arrivals in the first ten months of 2017 to 35,370,600 visitors in the same ten months of 2018.
Las Vegas achieved an average city-wide room occupancy of 89.0% in the first ten months of 2018 (down 1.2 percentage points compared with the first ten months of 2017), an ADR of $129.74, (down 0.1% compared with ytd 2017) and a RevPar of $115.38, down 1.4%, also compared with the same ten months of 2017.
The Global Change Research Act of 1990 mandates that the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) deliver a report to Congress and the President no less than every four years that “1) integrates, evaluates, and interprets the findings of the Program…; 2) analyzes the effects of global change on the natural environment, agriculture, energy production and use, land and water resources, transportation, human health and welfare, human social systems, and biological diversity; and 3) analyzes current trends in global change, both human-induced and natural, and projects major trends for the subsequent 25 to 100 years.”
Volume II, draws on the foundational science described in Volume I, the Climate Science Special Report (CSSR). Volume II focuses on the human welfare, societal, and environmental elements of climate change and variability for 10 regions and 18 national topics, with particular attention paid to observed and projected risks, impacts, consideration of risk reduction, and implications under different mitigation pathways.
Chapter 20 looks at the US Caribbean – Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands – and assesses the possible impact of climate change on those two territories. It is thought that its conclusions can be applied to many countries within the Caribbean as a whole.
Historically, the U.S. Caribbean region has experienced relatively stable seasonal rainfall patterns, moderate annual temperature fluctuations, and a variety of extreme weather events, such as tropical storms, hurricanes, and drought. However, the Caribbean climate is changing and is projected to be increasingly variable as levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increase.
The high percentage of coastal area relative to the total island land area in the U.S. Caribbean means that a large proportion of the region’s people, infrastructure, and economic activity are vulnerable to sea level rise, more frequent intense rainfall events and associated coastal flooding, and saltwater intrusion. High levels of exposure and sensitivity to risk in the U.S. Caribbean region are compounded by a low level of adaptive capacity, due in part to the high costs of mitigation and adaptation measures relative to the region’s gross domestic product, particularly when compared to continental U.S. coastal areas. The limited geographic and economic scale of Caribbean islands means that disruptions from extreme climate-related events, such as droughts and hurricanes, can devastate large portions of local economies and cause widespread damage to crops, water supplies, infrastructure, and other critical resources and services.
The U.S. Caribbean territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) have distinct differences in topography, language, population size, governance, natural and human resources, and economic capacity. However, both are highly dependent on natural and built coastal assets; service-related industries account for more than 60% of the USVI economy. Beaches, affected by sea level rise and erosion, are among the main tourist attractions.
In Puerto Rico, critical infrastructure (for example, drinking water pipelines and pump stations, sanitary pipelines and pump stations, wastewater treatment plants, and power plants) is vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise, storm surge, and flooding.
In the USVI, infrastructure and historical buildings in the inundation zone for sea level rise include the power plants on both St. Thomas and St. Croix; schools; housing communities; the towns of Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, and Frederiksted; and pipelines for water and sewage.
Climate change will likely result in water shortages due to an overall decrease in annual rainfall, a reduction in ecosystem services, and increased risks for agriculture, human health, wildlife, and socioeconomic development in the U.S. Caribbean. These shortages would result from some locations within the Caribbean experiencing longer dry seasons and shorter, but wetter, wet seasons in the future.
Extended dry seasons are projected to increase fire likelihood.
Excessive rainfall, coupled with poor construction practices, unpaved roads, and steep slopes, can exacerbate erosion rates and have adverse effects on reservoir capacity, water quality, and nearshore marine habitats.
Ocean warming poses a significant threat to the survival of corals and will likely also cause shifts in associated habitats that compose the coral reef ecosystem.
Severe, repeated, or prolonged periods of high temperatures leading to extended coral bleaching can result in colony death.
Ocean acidification also is likely to diminish the structural integrity of coral habitats.
Studies show that major shifts in fisheries distribution and changes to the structure and composition of marine habitats adversely affect food security, shoreline protection, and economies throughout the Caribbean.
Observed sea level rise trends in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands reflect an increase in sea level of about 0.08 inches (2.0 mm) per year for the period 1962–2017 for Puerto Rico and for 1975–2017 for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Projections of sea level rise by 2100 are shown under three different scenarios of Intermediate-Low (1–2 feet), Intermediate (3–4 feet), and Extreme (9–11 feet) sea level rise.
The scenarios depict the range of future sea level rise based on factors such as global greenhouse gas emissions and the loss of glaciers and ice sheets.
In Puerto Rico, the annual number of days with temperatures above 90°F has increased over the last four and a half decades. During that period, stroke and cardiovascular disease, which are influenced by such elevated temperatures, became the primary causes of death. Increases in average temperature and in extreme heat events will likely have detrimental effects on agricultural operations throughout the U.S. Caribbean region. Many farmers in the tropics, including the U.S. Caribbean, are considered small-holding, limited resource farmers and often lack the resources and/or capital to adapt to changing conditions.
Most Caribbean countries and territories share the need to assess risks, enable actions across scales, and assess changes in ecosystems to inform decision-making on habitat protection under a changing climate. U.S. Caribbean islands have the potential to improve adaptation and mitigation actions by fostering stronger collaborations with Caribbean initiatives on climate change and disaster risk reduction.
Visit Florida’s Research Department recently announced that the state of Florida saw a 10.1% increase in the number of tourist arrivals in the third quarter of 2018, with total arrivals growing from 27,854,000 in the third quarter of 2017 to 30,677,000 arrivals in the third quarter of 2018. Domestic arrivals were up by 11.6%, while arrivals from Canada grew by 0.9%. Arrivals from overseas fell by 1.5% from 2,705,000 in the third quarter of 2017 to 2,664,000 this year.
Through the first nine months of 2018 Florida has seen a 6.7% increase in total tourist arrivals, growing from 89,761,000 arrivals in 2017 to 95,789,000 this year. Domestic arrivals have increased by 7.7%, while arrivals from Canada were up by 1.8%. International arrivals were down however, falling by 1.0% from 8,043,000 visitors in 2017 to 7,962,000 arrivals this year.
According to the USVI Bureau of Economic Research, the USVI saw the volume of air arrivals increase by 843.1% in September 2018, growing from 3,061 arrivals in September 2017 to 28,863 air arrivals in September 2018. The USVI were severely impacted by two major hurricanes in September 2017 which significantly reduced air arrivals during that month. Through the first nine months of 2018 the USVI saw a 42.8% decrease in the volume of air arrivals, falling from 586,790 arrivals in the first nine months of 2017 to 335,937 air arrivals in the same nine months of 2018.
Cruise arrivals grew by 100% in October 2018, from zero cruise visitors in October 2017 as no ships were able to call after the passage of two major hurricanes in September 2017, to 112,782 cruise visitors in October 2018. Through the first ten months of 2018 the USVI saw the number of cruise visitors fall by 2.6%, falling from 1,079,936 cruise visitors in 2017 to 1,051,514 visitors in 2018.
According to the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism the Cayman Islands saw the volume of stopover arrivals increase by 0.9% in October 2018, growing from 22,291 arrivals in October 2017 to 22,501 arrivals in October 2018. Stopover arrivals from the USA grew by 4.1%, from 17,554 in October 2017 to 18,265 in October 2018. Cruise arrivals grew by 21.6%, from 115,077 cruise visitors in October 2017 to 139,982 cruise visitors in October 2018.
Through the first ten months of 2018 the Cayman Islands saw an 11.5% increase in the volume of stopover arrivals, growing from 334,401 arrivals in the first ten months of 2017 to 372,812 arrivals in the same ten months of 2018. Arrivals from the USA increased by 14.1% in the first ten months of 2018, growing from 274,314 arrivals in 2017 to 313,122 arrivals in the same ten months of 2018. The number of cruise visitors increased by 19.8% in the first ten months of 2018, growing from 1,298,115 cruise visitors in 2017 to 1,555,632 visitors this year.
According to the Curaçao Tourist Board, Curaçao saw an 11.2% increase in stopover visitor arrivals in October, growing from 31,982 stopovers in October 2017 to 35,551 this year. Stopover visitors from the USA grew by 11.4%, from 5,226 visitors in October 2017 to 5,792 visitors in October 2018.
In the first ten months of 2018 Curaçao has seen a 6.2% increase in the number of stopover visitors, growing from 325,142 visitors in 2017 to 345,282 this year. The number of stopovers from the USA has grown by 18.3% during the first ten months, from 49,442 in 2017 to 58,503 through October 2018.
The number of cruise visitors grew by 16.5% in October, from 42,605 visitors in October 2017 to 49,649 visitors this year. Through the first ten months of 2018 the number of cruise visitors to Curaçao grew by 27.0%, from 452,763 visitors in 2017 to 574,907 visitors this year.
New York Times: November 22 2018
By Elaine Glusac
More than a year after two devastating hurricanes, hotels and resorts on affected islands are reopening, many with added features, from new rooms to restaurants to expanded spas.
When Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit in back-to-back succession last fall, they had a profound impact on high-season traffic in a handful of the hardest-hit Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and St. Maarten/St. Martin. Tourist arrivals dropped 8.7 percent across the Caribbean from January through April this year compared to the same period in 2017, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
Now the organization is predicting a 4.3 percent increase in tourism to the region in 2019 as the affected islands recover.
Shuttered resorts on the most damaged islands are working diligently to reopen in time for winter.
Here’s a look at those resorts, island by island.
Zemi Beach House and the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla have already reopened on Anguilla. Joining them this month, the remodeled CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa features new Mediterranean-channeling interiors in blue and white across 91 rooms and seven villas (rooms from $550 a night). The resort’s hydroponic farm is growing a greater variety of ingredients for its five restaurants, including the new, small-plate-focused KazBar, as well as the botanical scrubs in its 16-treatment-room spa. An 18-hole golf course has renovated bunkers and new golf carts.
In December, the former luxury resort Cap Juluca will reopen as Belmond Cap Juluca. The whitewashed, Greek-inspired hideaway on Maundays Bay will have a new infinity pool, beach bar, landscaping and 10 additional rooms for a total of 108, each with a balcony or terrace and direct access to the beach (from $725). After sunrise yoga, guests can have breakfast at tables placed in shallow water, go kite-surfing or visit the oceanfront spa with its own swimming pool.
Expect Malliouhana, Auberge Resorts Collection to reopen next month with 46 restored rooms, an expanded pool area and, in early 2019, a new beachfront bar, an additional villa, suites and an expanded spa with six treatment rooms (from $795).
British Virgin Islands
Like their United States counterparts, the British Virgin Islands were struck by both hurricanes. The government has been promoting charter sailboats and yachts — roughly 3,000 berths are available throughout the 80 islands and cays of the country — as a way to visit by sea.
On Tortola, the popular Sugar Mill resort, set on a former sugar plantation, was extensively damaged. It reopens this month with 24 refurbished rooms and two restaurants, including its fine-dining restaurant set inside a 400-year-old former sugar boiling house (rooms from $295).
Partially reopened in spring, Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, which solely occupies 230-acre Scrub Island, expects to have all 52 guest rooms and suites reopened by the end of December (rooms from $359). The spa added a beachfront treatment cabana.
On Virgin Gorda, Oil Nut Bay reopened last December and by the end of this year plans to open four new one-bedroom villas, a water-sports center offering guided snorkeling trips and sailing lessons, a two-treatment-room spa and a new marina village with a restaurant and shops (rooms from $550).
Among the handful of renewed hotels on Dominica, the secluded Secret Bay is reopening this month with six restored villas, each with a plunge pool (from $705). The property’s first restaurant, Zing Zing, will also open along with a newly built yoga pavilion.
On the island’s east coast, Citrus Creek Plantation is expected to resume operations in early 2019 with nine restored cottages on 20 acres (from $115). Crops were replanted in the resort garden that grows much of the produce served at the riverside restaurant.
In the capital of Roseau, the Fort Young Hotel currently has more than half of its 72 rooms as well as a new poolside bar open, with plans to complete its renovation in February (from $209).
Puerto Rico is anticipating a tourism boost as some of its top hotels reopen, including Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve last month and St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in December. Over 11,000 hotel rooms are currently available and tourism officials expect room inventory to reach 15,000, or pre-Maria levels, by mid-2019.
Among island classics, the El San Juan Hotel on Isla Verde Beach is expected to fully reopen in December. In early 2019, the 1949-vintage Caribe Hilton will be back with 652 remodeled rooms, new tennis courts, restaurants and bars.
Airbnb reported 7,700 active home listings in Puerto Rico in September 2017. That figure shrank 11 percent after Hurricane Maria, but has rebounded to more than 8,300 listings today. The company also introduced its Puerto Rico version of Experiences, guided activities led by locals, in May. It now offers 80 of these tours, including a walking tour of old San Juan with an architect and paddle-boarding lessons in a lagoon (each $25).
Several high-profile resorts on St. Barts are now open, including Hotel Le Toiny, which added eight new villas, for a total of 22 accommodations, and a beachfront pool (from €585, or about $663). Hotel Christopher is also back (from €450), with two of its three restaurants rebuilt, its pool modernized and a fitness room added to its spa.
Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa has 48 restored beachfront suites, new thermal spa features, including hot and cold plunges, a steam room and sauna, a beach grill and rooftop bar with a D.J. or live music on the weekends (from $829).
Le Sereno St Barth will go from 36 to 39 rooms, including a new family suite (from €750), when it reopens next month.
St. Maarten/St. Martin
Tourism grew 9.8 percent between the first and second quarters of 2018 on St. Maarten. As of September, more than 74,000 travelers had visited the island, a figure dwarfed by cruise ship arrivals of over 944,000, which reflects a 1.67 percent increase compared to the same period a year ago.
A clutch of high-profile resorts should boost overnight figures. The all-inclusive, adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point Resort will reopen Dec. 15 (from $229 a person) and its sibling, family-friendly Sonesta Maho Beach Resort Casino & Spa, is coming in February (from $135 a person).
On the French side of the dual-nation island, Belmond La Samanna plans to resume operations next month on its mile-long private beach with 83 rebuilt rooms, swings in the remodeled beach bar and beachfront spa cabanas (from $421).
This month the Grand Case Beach Hotel Club is back with apartment-style accommodations, access to two private beaches and a swimming pool overlooking Grand Case Bay (from $295).
U.S. Virgin Islands
Cruise ship arrivals are back to pre-hurricane levels, all beaches are open and nearly all restaurants are back in business, but only about half of the lodgings are back. Many of these are smaller hotels, inns and villas; the tourism office maintains a list of property updates online. There are also about 830 Airbnb listings available across the three main islands.
This summer, the tourism department launched Purpose in Paradise, a program that links visitors to volunteer opportunities such as coral restoration, vegetable gardening and student literacy.
According to the Ministry of Tourism and Investment, Antigua and Barbuda saw a 14.0% increase in stopover visitor arrivals in October 2018, growing from 14,437 stopovers in October 2017 to 16,452 this year. The number of stopover visitors from the USA grew by 33.3%, from 4,365 in October 2017 to 5,819 this October.
In the first ten months of 2018, Antigua and Barbuda has seen an 8.3% increase in the number of stopover visitors, growing from 200,446 stopovers in 2017 to 217,082 stopovers this year. The number of stopovers from the USA has grown by 7.2%, from 79,700 in the first ten months of 2017 to 85,425 stopovers this year.
Through the first eight months of 2018 the number of cruise visitors to Antigua and Barbuda grew by 17.8%, from 441,822 cruise visitors in 2017 to 520,645 visitors this year. The numbers for September and October are not yet available.
U.S. Citizens Outbound travel to international destinations grew by 5.7% in the first seven months of 2018.
The United States Government’s Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) recently released the January – July 2018 figures for U.S. citizens outbound travel by air to international regions.
U.S. Citizens Outbound Travel January - July 2018
Source: ITA, National Travel & Tourism Office.
The numbers for air traffic both to and from all international regions (on US and foreign flagged carriers) are reported to the NTTO by means of the “U.S. International Air Travel Statistics Report”. For more details of this survey go to
Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.