Sept. 13, 2005 Asia's gain was the Virgin Islands' loss as indicated in the June cruise ship figures issued Monday by the Bureau of Economic Research. Director Lauritz Mills said in a news release that the cruise lines interest in Asian markets appeared to be a factor in the reduction in numbers over the previous year.
The number of visitors arriving by cruise ships fell by 21.7 percent in June compared to June 2004. A total of 99,201 cruise ship passengers arrived this June.
West Indian Co. president Edward Thomas could not be reached for comment. However, WICO announced in March it anticipated a drop in cruise passenger arrivals over the summer months because ships were headed to Asia.
The total number of June visitors fell by 13.5 percent from the previous year, a figure impacted by the decline in the number of cruise ship passengers visiting.
A total of 159,410 people visited the territory in June, 23,845 less than last June.
Air arrivals were up, however, by 4.5 percent over last June. The total was 60,209.
The overall hotel occupancy rate stood at 67.4 percent, up from 62.1 percent in June 2004.
The press release also included figures for the first six months of the year. The total number of visitor arrivals was up 4.4 percent. A total of 1.5 million people visited the territory between January and June.
Air arrivals were also up 11.4 percent for January to June. A total of 410,152 people flew in compared to 368,336 during the same period in 2004.
In the January to June period, a total of 1.11 million cruise ship passengers visited the territory, up 2 percent over the 1.09 million passengers who came during the same period last year.
In the St. Thomas/St. John district, air arrivals were up 10 percent for the first six months, but St. Croix recorded a 17.2 percent increase.
The number of cruise ship passengers arriving was up only 2.1 percent in the St. Thomas/St. John district for the January to June period. On St. Croix, the number increased dramatically. A total of 40,836 people arrived on cruise ships, up considerably from the 1,654 who came last year between January and June.
The hotel occupancy rate for the January to June period stood at 71.2 percent, up from 65.9 percent during the same period last year.
Hotel room revenues were $12.95 million for January to June compared with $11.55 million for the same period the year before.
The number of visitors arriving from South America went up 36 percent. The number from Central America went up 24.5 percent. The number of Canadian visitors went up 22.8 percent. Caribbean visitors, excluding Puerto Rico, rose by 13.9 percent. The number from Puerto Rico dropped by 1.4 percent. The number of visitors from the United States dropped by a half a percent.
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