View of Little Bay Montserrat (DM Photo)

Montserrat’s Tourism Numbers Trending Upwards

After three lacklustre years of low tourism numbers due to the pandemic, Montserrat’s visitor numbers are on the rise, says Director of Tourism Rosetta West-Gerald.

Speaking at the Tourism Stakeholders meeting on Wednesday, August 9 at the Brades Arts & Education Centre, the director said while the island has not yet returned to the 2019 high of 20,956 tourists with a spend of $27 million, we are halfway there in 2023 to date.

In 2020, the island had 8,300 visitors and $13.9 million in visitor spend. In 2021, arrivals dropped to 1,597 due to extended lockdowns and entry restrictions with only $1.3 million entering the local economy. Things began looking up in 2022 with 6,169 in arrivals and a spend of $12.4 million.

According to figures from the Statistics Department Montserrat, already for 2023, there have been 9,652 tourist arrivals with $12.2 million spent by the visitors.

Mrs. West-Gerald said the Montserrat Tourism Division will continue its efforts to spread the word about the island as a unique tourist destination. She shared some of the promotional activities including visibility received in trade publications and international media.

She shared that they were able to make presentations to Canadian travel agents. However, the main questions asked were about when the island will have a ferry or Twin Otter service in order for them to promote the island to their clients. The director was not able to give assurances of this.

The division has installed new binoculars at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, Jack Boy Hill, and Garibaldi Hill. There are plans to upgrade to Petroglyph hiking trail and update the large signs at ports of entry. Other activities undertaken include, printing new trail maps with relevant QR codes to access information, updating other marketing collaterals and contracting for visual advertising inside the Arrival Hall of the VC Bird International Airport.

The office is also preparing to host Tourism Week in late September.