The United States Government’s Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) recently released the figures for U.S. citizens outbound travel from the USA to International Regions for the month of September 2019 as well as the first nine months of 2019.
While overall travel by US citizens to international regions was up 5.5% in September travel by US citizens to the Caribbean fell by 6.8% from 451,939 in September 2018 to 421,173 in September of this year, a decline of 30,766 visitors.
This was largely due to a 33.0% drop in travel by residents of the USA to the Dominican Republic in September, which fell by 35,752 in September 2019 compared to September of the previous year as well as a 21.5% drop in stopovers to The Bahamas. With 80% of visitors to The Bahamas coming from the USA this would also have had a negative impact on the overall numbers.
The NTTO does not include travel by US citizens to either Puerto Rico or the USVI in their total for the Caribbean as both are deemed to be domestic destinations for the purposes of their study.
Year to Date September 2019
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”.
As can be seen: -
The NTTO defines the Caribbean as including the following countries: -
Included in Caribbean for APIS:
US Citizens Travel to the Caribbean by Month 2019
While the Caribbean saw good growth comparing the first six months of 2019 with the same six months of 2018, growth slowed significantly in the third quarter with the onset of the sharp decline in US travel to the Dominican Republic which was down from the US by 24.6% in July, down 24.4% in August and down 33.0% in September.
Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.