Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Less Cruise Ships Visiting Key West

The number of passenger arrivals to Key West via cruise ships declined dramatically in May, down 28.1% compared to May 2006.That decline marked the 6th consecutive month that Key West saw a drop in cruise ship passenger arrivals.Less ships are coming to Key West: May 2007 saw a 27.6% decline in the number of port calls compared to May 2006.
Data from Key West Airport arrivals also showed continuing weakness. May 2007 passenger-arrival numbers were down 4.9%, the 7th consecutive month of declines.
Not sure what is going on here. The room rates at Key West hotels have steeply risen - especially with the number of rooms offline. This has likely contributed to the decline. Also, the bursting housing bubble has tightened purse strings for Americans - something showing up in the latest sales reports from our nations largest retailers.
Some tourism businesses are doing fine. But Duval Street businesses have been complaining that things are slow. With nearly 20,000 less cruise ship passengers wandering Duval Street than last May it is no wonder. Notably, the May cruise ship passenger numbers are down 40% from 2003 levels.
This may be a good thing - especially since Key Westers were fed up with too many cruise ship arrivals spoiling the quaintness of our town for the valuable and desirable land-based visitors.
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Anonymous said...

I was off island for a couple weeks and saw two articles about Key West in two different national magazines. One talked about the rock piles that exist where a vibrant reef used to be and the other talked about our polluted waters and the health threats they pose. It was interesting to see how the "rest of the world" views us. Maybe this is why tourism is down.

Shane said...

I just got back from a Key West vacation. I did love it there, but was quite saddened to see "rocks where a coral reef use to be".

If it had not been for the fact that I've seen the same thing in other areas in Caribean I would of been surprised.

I do think Key West is a great town. But I do see an underlying problem happening. I picked up a real estate magazine and almost died! The cost of living is out of control and reflected by the fact that EVERYONE is looking for a tip. It got a bit tired after a week and I was expected to even tip for a $3 coffee (plus every single excursion, tour, trip, etc..)

I hope that the leadership in Key West recognizes they are losing their character to rich boomers, who I am told already tried to get rid of the chickens (isn't it those types of unique things that draw people there in the first place?)