SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Caribbean tourism is bouncing back to pre-recession levels, with visitors from Canada and the U.S. giving a boost to a region struggling to recover from a global economic crisis. The Caribbean Tourism Organization's chairwoman says 25 million tourists visited the region last year, a more than 5 percent increase from 2011. Beverly Nicholson-Doty said Wednesday the growth rate slightly outpaced the rest of the world, which saw arrivals increase by 4 percent.
Nicholson-Doty says the Caribbean saw its largest number of stayover visitors in five years, with overall hotel occupancy for the region increasing by more than 7 percent and total room revenues by nearly 9 percent. She says tourists also spent more than $27 billion in the region, a more than 3 percent increase from 2011.