THE VALLEY, Anguilla -- Tourist (stayover) arrivals to Anguilla set a new record in 2016. The island welcomed 79,239 tourist arrivals in 2016, an increase of 8.2% over 2015, breaking the previous record of 77,652 arrivals set in 2007. Anguilla’s 8.2% increase in arrivals was the sixth highest growth rate in the Caribbean.
Arrivals from the island’s largest source market, the USA, which accounts for 64% of tourist arrivals to Anguilla, were up 6.9%, to 50,508 visitors. The Canadian market continued to recover, as the 3,501 tourist arrivals in 2016 represent a 3.1% increase over 2015.
The UK market recorded 2,968 tourist arrivals, a healthy increase of 7.8% over 2015; Italy’s 1,106 tourist arrivals were down 12.3%, while Germany’s tourist arrivals of 626 were up by 50%, admittedly off a small visitor base.
The decline in tourist arrivals from Italy is presumed to be linked to fears of terrorism, as Paris is the main gateway for Italian visitors, and the slaughter of nine Italian businessmen by ISIS terrorists in July may have prompted Italians to vacation closer to home. A third of Italian tourists to Anguilla travel in July and the steep decline in arrivals that month negatively impacted overall tourist arrivals for the year.
Overall visitor arrivals, at 175,970 were down slightly, by 3.4%, from 2015, due to a decline in excursionist arrivals over the course of the year. The decline in excursionist traffic, in every month except October, may be due in part to a decline in cruise arrivals to neighbouring St Maarten.