The following is an exerpt of a comment I recently posted on the Progressive Minds blog. I feel the state of our tourism industry can be described with a fair and honest review, no spin necessary. Spin only confuses people and takes away from the real efforts of those trying to improve our overall situation. So, without further adu, here is my second quarter tourism report.
Efforts to boost air arrivals have been successful for the first quarter resulting in a net increase in visitors. Business travellers have been increasing frequency of visits over the winter thanks to the lower cost airlines. This increase has caused our traditional low season to start reaching for a high which is encouraging for future tourism development.
Due to new US passport regulations introduced in January, seasonal tourism numbers for April took a slight decline and we expect this decline to continue in the following months as Americans adjust to the new requirements. Thankfully, the US immigration office has recently reconsidered their passport policy and opted to delay the requirement until October, only requiring travellers to have photo ID and proof of a passport application. This means that while we may be facing a slight decline in the months of April, May and half of June, we should see a resurgence in late June carrying through the summer for a good season overall.
Hopefully this added delay will give Americans time to adjust to the new requirements and we should expect another prosperous tourism season next year thanks to all the great efforts and hard work of our Tourism Ministry