Tourism sector already ahead of schedule for 2021 growth target

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says the targets under the 5x5x5 plan are way ahead of schedule, placing the sector on an unprecedented growth path.

Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett (seventh left); and Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and Chairman of the Board of Management of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI), Dr Andrew Spencer (seventh right), with JCTI graduates at a facility's third graduation exercise held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James, recently.
Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett (seventh left); and Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and Chairman of the Board of Management of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI), Dr Andrew Spencer (seventh right), with JCTI graduates at a facility’s third graduation exercise held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James, recently.

The five-year growth targets, set in 2016, are aimed at attracting five million tourists, generating US$5 billion in earnings, and increasing total direct employment to 125,000, while adding 15,000 rooms.

“In only three years, we have either achieved some of our targets or we are close to achieving others. We are way ahead of projections and should easily achieve the 5x5x5 by 2021,” Bartlett said.

“We have been strategic and deliberate in our growth strategies.”

— Bartlett

He said that the sector currently employs 127,600 workers directly with induced and indirect employment at approximately 250,000.

“We have been strategic and deliberate in our growth strategies and it has paid off, as now we have exceeded our employment targets just two years shy of the timeline set,” he noted. 

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett

He said that arrivals and earnings are “well within striking distance” in year three of the five-year projection, showing increases of nine per cent and 10.2 per cent, respectively.

“Arrivals as of now stand at 4.4 million, while earnings are at US$3.7 million,” the Minister noted.