Despite its crystal-clear, cerulean blue waters and picture-perfect beaches, the Caribbean struggled a bit in 2018, welcoming fewer tourists to its sunny shores than the year before.
The WTO suspects that some Caribbean islands are still trying to rebound from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Puerto Rico was hit particularly hard by Hurricane Maria, suffering at least $100 billion worth of damage, which likely contributed heavily to its 40 percent decrease in tourist arrivals. St. Maarten, which was struck by Hurricane Irma, fared even worse, experiencing a steep 69.3 percent drop in traffic.
Still, other parts of the Caribbean experienced “strong growth” in 2018, according to the WTO — the Dominican Republic and Jamaica were popular destinations for Americans and Europeans, for example, growing 6.2 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively.
But the leader of the pack was the Cayman Islands, which is surging in popularity thanks to an influx of new hotels (including luxe Grand Hyatt and Mandarin Oriental properties) and just-launched flights from Southwest and JetBlue.