KINGSTON, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Caribbean witnessed a rise in tourist arrivals during the first half of 2014, keeping pace with the world average, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) said Friday.
About 14 million over-night tourists visited the region between January and June, representing a 4.3-percent increase from the same period last year, the CTO said. The world average stood at 4.7 percent.
The United States remained the largest sources of tourists, accounting for 6.87 million, up 3.9 percent from the 6.61 million registered a year ago.
"Enough evidence suggests that there is growing economic confidence in the region's biggest neighbor and this is releasing much pent-up travel demand caused by a long recessionary period," said Winfield Griffith, the CTO's director of research and information technology.
Tourists from Europe and Canada also registered increases of 6 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively, according to the organization.
For the winter period represented by the first quarter of the year, at least five countries in the region reported double-digit growth, and these destinations continue strong performance during the current summer season, the CTO said.
Statistics also showed that 13.1 million tourists arrived in the Caribbean by cruise ship during the first two quarters of 2014, representing an 8-percent increase.