Not only are arrivals on the rise for Barbados’ tourism, visitor spend is also increasingAs we are now in the 2016/17 winter season, Q3 statistics for 2016 shows that visitors to the island are continuing to spend and contribute to the economic growth of Barbados.
This is according to The Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s (CTO) quarterly exit survey for the period July- Sep. 2016. The survey reported that visitors to Barbados spent 2.6 percent more during the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.
This showed that visitor expenditure significantly increased by US $4,523 million from the US $177,527 million recorded in 2015. The average daily expenditure during this 2016 period showed a decline of 1.1 percent or US $1.50 with US $129.72 compared to US $131.22 for the 2015 period.
Total visitor expenditure grew from US $678,736 million to US $735,441 million during the Jan. – Sep. 2016 period. This is a significant increase of 8.4 percent more spend when compared to the 2015 period. Chairman, BTMI, Alvin Jemmott mentioned that, “based on the statistics, we can comfortably look forward to a strong winter performance as these numbers indicate a positive visitor spend trend and we will remain dedicated to ensuring we continue on this track and increase economic growth.” While the average daily spend showed a slight decrease, the average length of stay remained constant at approximately 10 days. There was also a 6.2 percent increase in long stay arrivals which compensated for the decline in average daily spend and resulted in an increase in total visitor spend.
Despite Brexit, the United Kingdom remained the market leader as they showed an increase of 9.5 percent or US $124.74, with visitors spending on average US $146.80 daily in total spend. Expenditure from visitors from Canada and the Caribbean registered growth of 5.2 percent and 9.6 percent respectively. The United States’ visitors spent US $48 million whilst on island during Q3, with Europe at US $8 million and ‘Other Countries’ which include Latin America, Asia and Africa spent US $6 million. Although these markets saw declines in spend, they still contributed generously to the total overall expenditure.
When examined, forty-six percent of visitor expenditure was spent on accommodation, which showed a decline of 18.4 percent when compared to 2015. Meals and drinks outside of accommodation were next in line with 25.2 percent. While transportation and entertainment/recreation both recorded slight increases of 8.7 percent and 5.6 percent respectively. Souvenirs and shopping also showed small increases in spending.