One of the Caribbean’s smallest destinations is experiencing large-scale tourism growth following the addition of new flights to the country’s new major airport, which opened in 2017. Visitor arrivals to St. Vincent and the Grenadines increased by 7.1 year-over-year during the first five months of 2019, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority officials report.
The destination welcomed 232, 916 visitors, including cruise ship arrivals, during between January and May, compared with 217,453 arrivals during the same period in 2018, an increase of 15,463 visitors to the destination.
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The territory also recorded a 7.1 percent increase in air arrivals during the same period. A total of 36,757 visited St. Vincent by air in the first five months of 2019 compared with 34,335 in 2018, a difference of 2,486 overnight visitors.
Canadian travelers to St. Vincent’s registered the greatest increase during the five-month period, accounting for a 16.9 percent arrivals increase. The US market registered an increase of 11.4 percent followed by the UK market’s 10 percent increase.
A total of 158,233 cruise ship visitors arrived in the destination during the January-to-May period this year, an increase of seven percent over the 147,878 cruise ship arrivals during the same period in 2018. In addition, the territory’s yacht arrivals grew by 7.6 percent year-over-year during the first five months of 2019 with 37,926 yacht visitors in 2019 compared with 35,240 during the same period in 2018.
Three international carriers, American Airlines, Caribbean Airlines and Air Canada Rouge offer non-stop flights to St. Vincent’s Argyle International Airport. Earlier this month American Airlines announced the launch of a second weekly flight to Argyle International Airport from Miami International Airport beginning in December 2019.
The new American service will complement Caribbean Airlines’ weekly Wednesday non-stop flights from New York’s JFK International Airport and Air Canada Rouge’s weekly non-stop service from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Air Canada Rouge will also operate a second weekly Sunday non-stop service flight during the winter season beginning on December 15.