In the course of a press conference held in at the Habitation Apolline in Martinique on Monday, February 19, 2018, Karine Mousseau, the Martinique Tourism Commissioner announced that a record 1,041,139 travelers visited the Isle of Flowers in 2017.
Over 511,000 of these visitors were cruise passengers enjoying an excursion during one of the 256 cruise ship port calls and stay over visitors numbered a little over 534,000.
In her presentation, Mrs. Mousseau highlighted the percentages in terms of geographic origin of these visitors:
France: 66.3% — other European countries: 8.8% — North America: 6.8 % (only 2.4% in 2014) — Other (Guadeloupe, other Caribbean Islands, Guyana): 18.1%. It is to be noted that the average spend per visitor per day is 68 Euros ($84 at today’s rate), with American visitors spending 20% more, averaging $110 per day.
Mrs. Mousseau attributed the steady increase of visitors from North America and most notably from the United States to the much improved access, a result of her and her team’s combined efforts to attract and convince airlines to provide non-stop service from the United States to Martinique. For the third consecutive year Norwegian Air has provided non-stop service from NY/JFK to Fort-de-France—the number of flights increased to four weekly in 2017 and the added flights from new gateways like Boston-Providence and Fort-Lauderdale. American Airlines has increased its year-round service from Miami to six flights weekly during the season and Air France recently inaugurated for the 2017/2018 season direct service from Atlanta to Fort-de-France.
To increase the number of visitors to their island, the Martinique Tourism Authority offices throughout Europe and the Americas—including the United States, conducted over 250 actions, ranging from events to press trips, travel agent fams to marketing campaigns.
The Martinique Promotion Bureau, US division of the Martinique Tourism Authority in the United States used their world-class annual events to attract American guests, such as the November Raid des Alizés, an international women’s adventure race for charity, the December La Fête du Rhum at the Saint-James Distillery, the great Martinique Carnival and upcoming in March the world-class surf competition, Martinique Surf Pro.
“Every year we add to the tourism offer of our beautiful island,” said Karine Mousseau and we are very proud to announce for 2018 a new and exciting boating event, he International Martinique Flying Regatta. The general concept is that of an annual event, bringing together the most striking series of foiling or hydrofoil sailboats in the magnificent bay of Fort-de-France.” Mrs. Mousseau went on to say, “With its natural beauty, easy access, new and top notch events, Martinique is truly magnifique.”