A visitor snorkeling at Champagne Beach in Dominica. Photo: AL Dive

During the first five months of 2017, preliminary reports show a 14.3% growth in stay-over arrivals to 34,363 as compared 30,074 in 2016.

The arrivals for this period also surpassed the previous five months high of 33,808 recorded in 2014 by 1.6%.

The strongest performing source market for the period was France, with a 46.3% growth over 2016 to 3,528 stay over arrivals. Arrivals from France also passed 2014’s 2,816 by 25.3%.

Arrivals from the United Kingdom grew 28.8% to 2,337 from 1,814 in 2016, which is also a 20.8% growth over 2014’s 1,934.

Arrivals from Germany and the German speaking territories are showing a strong change of rebounding following the decline in 2016. Through May, arrivals from the sub-group grew 22.2% to 1,374 from 1,124 in 2016. The growth was led by 925 arrivals from Germany, a 21.6% growth. There was also a 5.6% net growth from the sub-group over 1,301 in 2014.

Overall, Caribbean arrivals grew 7.7% to 13,648 during the January to May period. Arrivals from CARICOM led the growth with a 16.3% increase in arrivals to 4,546 from 3,910 in 2016. Most notable in the sub-region were Antigua & Barbuda at 1,213, a 14.4% growth, Barbados at 845, a 36.5% growth, and St. Lucia at 811, a 15.5% growth. All three markets also recorded growth over 2014 of 20.5%, 14.3%, and 19.4% for Antigua, Barbados, and St. Lucia, respectively.

Arrivals from the French West Indies are slowly gaining stride with a small 0.7% growth over 2016 to 6,862. Arrivals from Martinique at 2,074, an increase of 15.4%, were the main contributor to the growth in the subgrouping, as arrivals from Guadeloupe recorded a 5.0% decline to 4,751. There was a net loss in arrivals from the French West Indies of 4.9% or 351 compared to 2014 when 7,213 arrivals were recorded.

Arrivals from the United States grew 9.0% during the five month period to 9,046 from 8,299, only slightly surpassing 2014’s 9,042. Canadian arrivals were recorded at 1,712, an 18.9% increase over 2016 and 11.4% above 2014’s 1,537. Arrivals from Canada also grew 7.7% over the previous five month high from the market of 1,589 (2015).

CEO of Discover Dominica Authority commented on the positive trend, β€œit is gratifying to see that the strategy of focused factual information to press which began immediately after Tropical Storm Erika followed by the Seeking Adventurers campaign are paying off. Thank you to the Government of Dominica who increased the marketing budget to allow for more promotions, which have resulted in increased awareness and increased visitors to the island.”