Report: A record 30M people visited Caribbean despite storms

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A record 30 million people visited the Caribbean last year despite two devastating hurricanes that hit the region.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization said Thursday that visitors spent a record total of $37 billion, up nearly 3 percent from the previous year, though hotel occupancy fell by 1 percent.

Officials say some islands saw double-digit growth while others saw a nearly 20 percent drop in visitors after hurricanes Irma and Maria hit in September.

The majority of visitors came from the United States, and there also was a surge of travelers from Canada and Europe.

Separately, a record 27 million cruise ship passengers also visited last year.