Updated on June 7, 2022 by Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg

Barbados is one of the Caribbean’s most affluent locations. Concorde only flew to four destinations per day: New York, London, Paris, and Barbados. It offers one of the most diverse dining scenes in the area. Despite the rise in the room fee and exit tax, long-stay tourism arrivals in Barbados have broken records for the fourth year in a row.

Barbados’ unique and luxurious brand has propelled it to new heights, regardless of industry trends. When tourist numbers throughout the Caribbean fell by 2.3 percent in 2018, Barbados had a 2.5 percent increase. When the number of Americans visiting Cuba increased, so did the number of Americans visiting Barbados. Barbados’ tourism industry has risen significantly over the last three years, with a significant gain in the tourism sector at 68% yearly in 2018. Apart from being a popular tourist destination around the world, the island is also a popular business destination in the Caribbean (for more Caribbean holidays, check out our guide to St Lucia). Unlike the territorial neighbors, who are heavily dependent on the American market, Barbados attracts visitors from all over the world.

The local tourism industry has reached a major tourism milestone for the first time since December 2020, with the latest statistics from the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) indicating a good turn for the industry ahead of the 2021/2022 winter season. The country was also on display at Greenwich, Connecticut, where the “2021 Greenwich Polo Season” gave the island’s tourism offering a significant boost. It was the perfect relationship for Barbados because Greenwich, Connecticut is advantageously positioned within proximity to New York, said the interim CEO of BTMI. It is well located for residents who use JFK as their primary airport for all commercial and private jet journeys. Majority of the tourists defend the existing airlift from JFK while trying to create the environment for incremental capacity as circumstances permit, this partnership provided us with an opportunity to engage and reposition Barbados as a viable post-COVID option for affluent travelers with above-average disposable income.

In July, BTMI and Sandals Resort teamed up to bring fifteen US radio stations from eleven cities to Barbados to give the auditor the chance to win a four-day/three-night vacation to Sandals Resort. Tourism authorities, led by Senator the Hon. Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, was interviewed live on the radio stations from Sandals Royal Barbados. The campaign, which was also backed by American Airlines, reached almost 4 million people.

Barbados Tourism Statistics

  1. Tourism revenues totaled 628.00 million dollars in 1995, accounting for around 28.33 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
  2. This equated to approximately 927,000 tourists at the time, or USD 677 each person.
  3. The country’s reliance on tourism has significantly declined during the last 23 years.
  4. The revenue today amounts to 1.13 billion USD, accounting for 22.12% of the gross national product in the last year of the study.
  5. In Barbados, each visitor now spends an average of USD 830 on his vacation.
  6. Barbados’ tourism revenue in 2016 totaled $1071,000,000.00, up 9.96 percent from 2015.
  7. Barbados received around 1.1 million inbound tourists per year from 2008 to 2018.
  8. Barbados’ tourism industry has risen significantly over the last three years, with over 680,000 tourists arriving in 2018.
  9. In 2018, visitor spending on the island increased by 7% to $1.12 billion.
  10. Over the last 12 months, occupancy has been at 68 percent with 6573 room bookings in the Barbados resorts and hotels.
  11. Annually, about 2.4 million travelers travel to and from Barbados.
  12. Among the overall tourist, around 614.993 are the cruisers.
  13. A cruise traveler spent an average of 294.2 dollars on buying jewelry and watches when visiting Barbados in 2018, according to the data in the study.
  14. They also spent an average of 97.5 dollars per year on entertainment, which includes nightclubs and casinos.
  15. Around 66 percent of Barbados’ tourism industry employees worked in commercial labor that year.
  16. Barbados received 966,000 travelers in 2019, placing it 100th in the world in terms of total visitors.
  17. International tourist arrivals in Barbados fell by 29% in 2019 compared to the previous year, according to UNWTO data.
  18. The number of same-day cruise passengers fell by 34.4 percent, the greatest drop.
  19. Foreign visitor numbers in the Caribbean country have consistently surpassed one million in recent years, topping 1.3 million in 2017 and 2018.
  20. The outcome is a much more comparable image when the tourist numbers are compared to the population of Barbados: Barbados was rated 19th in the world with 3.4 tourists per resident.
  21. It was placed 11th in the Caribbean in 2018.
  22. Barbados’ tourism industry alone produced $1.13 billion in revenue.
  23. This is equivalent to 25.46 percent of the country’s GDP and almost 4% of all foreign travel receipts in the Caribbean.
  24. After months of being impacted hard by a global pandemic, Barbados saw over 10,000 air passenger arrivals.
  25. Barbados received a total of 10,819 visitors in July 2021.
  26. When compared to the same period in July 2020, this amount showed a considerable increase of 6,745 visitors.
  27. There were 18,195 tourist arrivals in December 2020, but no cruise arrivals during the review period.
  28. There were 15,314 visitors for recreational purposes and 12,164 for vacation among the 18,195 stay-over arrivals documented during this period.
  29. In December 2020, the average number of stays (in days) in Barbados by stay-over visitors was roughly 20.48.
  30. As the global epidemic raged on, the year 2021 proved to be challenging for tourism and visitors with 39,356 visitors recorded till December 2021.
  31. At the end of the study period, total stay-over visitor arrivals totaled 146,854 passengers, while total cruise passenger arrivals were 97,450 passengers.
  32. During the review period, 67 cruise calls were made, transporting a total of 63,749 passengers.
  33. The 39,356 stay-over arrivals documented during this time included 36,010 for leisure purposes and 30,054 for vacation.
  34. The average number of days spent in Barbados by stay-over visitors was roughly 17.0 days.
  35. About 125,179 people visited for recreational purposes, mostly for vacations (71,839 tourists), out of the 144,833 stay-over arrivals registered for this period.
  36. The average number of days spent in Barbados by stay-over visitors was around 13.8 days.
  37. In January 2022, 32,175 stay-over visits were registered, with the United Kingdom recording the highest number of visitors (17,619), followed by Barbados with 6,561 tourists in January.
  38. The total number of cruises called for the trips are 61 in January 2022, and there were 47,149 cruise passenger arrivals, which was much greater than the 0 passenger arrivals for the same month in 2021.
  39. Around 26,810 people visited for recreational purposes, largely for vacations, out of the 32,175 stay-over arrivals registered during this time (23,824 tourists).
  40. During the review period, the average number of days spent in Barbados by stay over guests was around 15.79.
  41. In January 2022, 985 people visited the island for study, 250 people came for sports, 575 people came for other reasons, 2,652 people came for business/conferences, and 1,937 people came to see friends and relatives.
  42. Barbados’ tourist arrivals grew to 37033 in February 2022, up from 32175 in January