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Tourism Numbers Down for First Half of 2006

Sept. 25, 2006 — The number of people who visited the Virgin Islands between January and June fell by 5.9 percent compared to the same period last year, Government House announced Friday.
A total of 1.4 million people arrived, 88,959 less than January through June 2005, according to a news release. Government House attributed the decline to an 8.1 percent drop in visiting cruise-ship passengers. A total of 1 million cruise-ship passengers visited the territory between January and June, down from 1.1 million.
The number of cruise ships visiting fell by 11.7 percent to a total of 447.
On St. Thomas, the number of cruise-ship passengers arriving fell by 8.3 percent to 1 million. On St. Croix, the number dropped from 40,836 to 30,921, a 24.3 percent decline. West Indian Company President Edward Thomas could not be reached for comment on the cruise-ship numbers.
Territory wide, the hotel occupancy rate stood at 69.4 percent for the first half of the year. The June tourism statistics released Friday by Government House show a 1.6 percent overall increase in the number of visitors. A total of 161,933 people visited this June, with 101,846 of them arriving on cruise ships. The number of cruise-ship passengers rose by 2.7 percent.
The numbers for territory-wide air arrivals remained the same as last year. The number on St. Thomas/St. John went up 0.7 percent, however, with 47,973 people flying in during June. St. Croix saw a drop of 3.4 percent, with 12,114 coming by air.
The territory-wide hotel occupancy rate stood slightly lower, 63.7 percent compared to 67.4 percent. The rate for St. Thomas/St. John stood at 67.3 percent compared to 72.5 percent. St. Croix saw a slight increase in occupancy rate, 52.1 percent compared to 51.7 percent in June 2005.
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