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.