Report: Caribbean tourism up slightly in '11 despite economic crisis

The Associated Press
Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Tourism officials say the Caribbean saw a small increase in visitors last year despite the global economic crisis.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization says 23.8 million tourists visited the region in 2011, a 3.3 per cent increase from 2010. Statistician Sean Smith said the number of arrivals rose every month except May and October.

He said the Dutch Caribbean was among the most popular destinations, followed by Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which account for more than half of all yearly arrivals.

Smith said there was an unusual drop in U.S. tourists but a slight increase in Canadian and European visitors.

He said Wednesday that cruise ship passenger arrivals remained nearly the same.