Caribbean Tourism Soars to Record Highs Despite 2017 Hurricanes

Despite the impacts of Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma, 30 million people visited the Caribbean in 2017, according to tourism officials in the region.

caribbean tourism

Despite the impacts of Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma, 30 million people visited the Caribbean in 2017, according to tourism officials in the region.

The record-breaking volume of visitors spent US$37 billion, a rise of nearly 3% over 2016. Most visitors came from the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Although a large number of hotels are still closed where the storms hit hardest, 2017 was the eighth consecutive year of growth for the region. Even so, the results were scattered — St. Lucia and Bermuda saw double-digit increases, but other islands lost almost 20% after the storms.

According to Hugh Riley, secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the tourism sector employs 14% of the Caribbean’s population and makes up from 7% to more than 80% of the economies on various islands.

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