Cayman Islands 9-month Statistics Exceeded Visitation Goals Shows Steady Growth Towards Full Tourism

Cayman Islands 24 November 2023
As of September 2023, the Cayman Islands showed steady growth towards full tourism recovery.

As of September 2023, the Cayman Islands showed steady growth towards full tourism recovery. Between January and September 2023 stayover and cruise arrivals to the Cayman Islands maintained an upward momentum with the destination seeing a 105% increase in total visitation compared to the same period in 2022.

The Cayman Islands welcomed 323,038 stayover visitors and 930,621 cruise visitors between January and September 2023. This represented 83.6% of 2019’s visitation numbers far surpassing the destination’s target of 70% of 2019’s visitation. Standout months included January with 89% of 2019’s visitation and September with 88%.

With the destination having exceeded its visitation goal of 70% of 2019’s record numbers in the first three quarters of the year, Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister of Tourism and Transport is confident that the Cayman Islands is on track to full tourism recovery by the end of the year.

“Last year, we predicted that 2023 would be a momentous year for tourism, and this year has exceeded our expectations,” said Minister Bryan, “Going into our traditional high season our accommodations, restaurant and retail partners are fully primed to welcome guests, and we look forward to stellar end of year visitation numbers. From a cruise perspective, we look forward to seeing a continued increase in the number of ships calling into Grand Cayman as we work with our local partners to deliver an authentic and memorable destination experience for cruise visitors.”

Accommodations and Length of Stay

Concurrent with the increase in stayover visitors was an increase in the average length of stay with visitors spending an average of 6 nights on island, the same as 2019, showing a steady return to pre-pandemic nightly stays. Tourism revenues were also buoyed by a 30.2% hike in the average daily rate (ADR) of hotel rooms from January to September 2023 compared to the same period in 2022 according to STR Inc, the major hotel industry intelligence database.

The total room stock in the destination also saw an increase with 7.624 rooms as of September representing 10,410 beds and 21,516 bed places. Apartments/Condos, Hotels and Guesthouses accounted for 49%, 34% and 18% of accommodation stock respectively.

How CIDOT moved the needle

As part of our tourism recovery strategy the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism invested in a number of strategic initiatives to help increase cruise and stayover visitation from all of our markets.

We invested in rebuilding our cruise tourism by attending SeaTrade, the leading global cruise conference and hosting the 2023 FCCA PAMAC conference, a strategic meeting of top cruise executives which allowed us to showcase the destination and engage directly with important decision-makers in the cruise industry.

In the USA we hosted an in-market culinary event in New York; a guerilla marketing activation in Dallas inviting potential visitors to “cool down” with Cayman by distributing tropical frozen treats from an ice cream truck and attended major travel and trade shows like IMEX (North America’s largest MICE show), and capitalised on our membership with Virtuoso. These tactics all drove awareness of the destination in crucial US gateways.

In Canada we targeted journalists writing for major national publication and influencers focused on luxury lifestyle content, attended leading golf and tennis tournaments, and hosted an exclusive dinner with Top Chef Canada X’s winner, Chef Tre Sanderson, as part of Canada’s 100 Best, the definitive Canadian culinary guide. These tactics drove awareness of the destination in Ontario and Quebec.

The UK saw us embarking on a series of advertorials with leading travel publications Food & Travel, Conde Nast Traveler, Nat Geo Traveler and JRNY to showcase Cayman’s culinary and cultural delights to an affluent and engaged UK readership.

Recognising the importance of Latin America as an emerging market for visitors, the Department of Tourism undertook a proactive and multi-faceted approach to increasing awareness of the destination in Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil during and since the pandemic. This included engaging Brazilian influencers to tell the story of Cayman through video on a leading television channel, partnerships with travel agents in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, and Cayman Airways’ new route to Panama allowed us to capitalize on pent up demand which resulted in incremental visitation growth from this region.

Globally, we launched a campaign partnership with Travel Zoo consisting of emails, dedicated landing pages and native displays driving traffic to a custom microsite on one of the world’s most popular travel and entertainment websites.

Mrs. Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism, commented “We are pleased that our stayover and cruise arrivals to-date are well above our targets. As we move into our traditional high season and close out the year, we will see an increase in seat capacity from North America as seasonal routes come online from the United States, West Jet and Air Canada increase their frequency from Toronto, and Cayman Airways starts twice-weekly service to Los Angeles. We will continue to engage in strategic discussions with our airline partners to ensure increased airlift to the destination.  Our goal is to maintain consistent performance throughout 2023, and we are confident that we will continue to reach or exceed our visitation target for the last quarter of the year.”

United States

The United States continues to be the largest source market for visitation with 270,187 arrivals out of the total arrivals between January and September 2023. This indicates an 83.6% increase from 2022, and it is on par with 2019’s 84.5%.

Though there were 1,060 fewer inbound flights than in 2019, there was an increased airlift of 2,339 more flights arriving to the Cayman Islands from the United States compared to 2022.


Though Canadian arrivals between January and September 2023 were down 6% from 2019, Canada remained the second largest source of visitors with arrivals from Canada representing a 6.4% share of the total number of stayover arrivals between the 9-month period. This was a slight increase from 6.1% in 2022 and 5.7% in 2019 over the same period.

Visitors from Canada were up 87% compared to 2022 and on par with arrivals in 2019 indicating a strong recovery for this market when compared to the United States and UK in line with Canada’s projected post COVID-19 economic recovery.

UK & Ireland

The UK & Ireland market accounted for 3.2% share of total stayover arrivals, on par with 3.0% in 2019.

Air arrivals from the UK & Ireland had a decrease of 8.9% over the same period in 2019. This decrease indicates that the UK & Ireland market has slowed in its recovery which could be attributed to changing travel habits due to the UK cost of living crisis.

Encouragingly, the UK & Ireland visitation improved by 9.4% in September 2023 compared to September 2022 which can be attributed to a 27% increase in flights to the Cayman Islands from London between January and September 2023.


Arrivals from Latin America remain steady with travellers from the region accounting for a 1.3% share of the overall stayover arrivals over the 9-month period, the same share as 2019.

Though considered an emerging market, Latin America is proving itself a fruitful source market with 54% more stayover visitors arriving from Latin America between January and September 2023 than the same period in 2022. Mexico and Brazil were highlights in the region with their 2023 August numbers showing an increase on the 2019 numbers in the same period.


The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT) supports the overall strategic objectives of the destination by providing reliable statistical data, useful information and analysis for future planning, decision making and policy formulation. CIDOT provides online statistical data in an easy-to-use format for persons requiring tourism related figures.

To view our 9-month destination report please visit:

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