Visitor arrival numbers continue to show strong and robust signs of growth across all sub-sectors within the tourism industry, according to St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Tourism Minister, Honourable Carlos James.
Collectively, preliminary data is showing the year 2023 to be outperforming the year 2022 by an exponential 83.2 percent, almost doubling the previous year’s performance.
Minister James made the announcement while delivering the country’s State of the Tourism Industry Address at Port Kingstown on Tuesday.
According to the tourism minister, while the country continues to recover from a global health pandemic and the explosive eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano, the uptick in tourism is a sign of the resilience of stakeholders within the industry.
“The road to recovery required robust economic adjustments, innovation, and greater collaboration among stakeholders and I want to commend everyone for playing a role in the recovery process,” Minister James said.
During the State of the Tourism Industry Address, the minister outlined that SVG, though still recovering, is now the leading OECS destination in yachting with the sub-sector seeing an uptick by 43 percent of the same period in 2022.
According to the tourism minister, cruise calls in 2023 jumped to 20 percent while cruise visitors to the destination went up by 120 percent over the corresponding period in 2022. He noted that destination SVG recorded a second consecutive year of growth in cruise calls to the island and has now surpassed its 2019 pre-pandemic numbers.
Stay-over arrivals were up by 35 percent over the corresponding period in 2022, acknowledging stay-over arrival numbers to be still low, the minister assured that these numbers will improve with the expansion of the hotel room stock island.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is expected to welcome the opening of a newly constructed Sandals Resort on March 27, and the completion of a Holiday Inn Express hotel this year.
Construction will commence later this year on a Marriot International Resorts, and a 250-room Royal Mill Hotel, among other hotels to complement its existing room stock.
Preliminary estimates are showing total visitor expenditure for 2023 exceeding over half a billion Eastern Caribbean Dollars.