Caribbean Tourism Report Q2 2016
BMI View: Arrivals growth in the Caribbean will pick up to 2.3% in 2016, reflecting improved visitornumbers from Europe and North America. The Dominican Republic, St Eustatius and Cuba are expectingthe highest rate of arrivals growth, but all tourism markets will experience growth in 2016. However, theoutbreak of the Zika virus from late 2015 could pose downside risks to 2016 arrivals forecasts.
We currently expect arrivals to the Caribbean to grow by 2.3% in 2016, to 33.5mn, reflecting animprovement from growth of only 0.6% in 2015. We expect the Dominican Republic, Cuba, St Eustatiusand St Lucia to post the highest level of arrivals growth in 2016, at around 6%, but we note the positive signthat all Caribbean countries except St Vincent will experience arrivals growth in 2016, for the first timesince the downturn.
Despite this positive outlook, we believe that the Zika virus outbreak could pose a risk to our forecasts in2016. The virus, which can lead to cases of microcephaly in pregnant women, has been identified in severalCaribbean countries and the US Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) issued a travel warningin January 2016, advising pregnant woman not to travel to those countries. Data is not yet available onJanuary arrivals, so we are unable to assess whether this warning has had a major deterrent effect. However,if this is the case, then there will be a negative impact on arrivals and tourism receipts for 2016.
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