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.
Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.