Grim outlook for Jamaica’s tourism; many hotels closing

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett

With many hotels closing or have indicated that they might have to resort to that option, Jamaica’s tourism is now facing an uncertain future amid the worldwide COVID-19 fears.

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett probably summed it up best when he told reporters in Montego Bay Thursday (March 19) that traditional tourism as “we know it is coming to a halt.”

He said: “Jamaica will find itself, hopefully over a short period of time, in a situation where the hotels will have to be closed because there is no traffic coming into these facilities. All tourism entities in one way or another will be affected.”

President of the Jamaica, Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Omar Robinson, was even more blunt when noting that the tourism industry was heading for a freefall.

“The travel advisory issued by the US Department of State, warning Americans not to travel abroad, will definitely increase the trend in the downturn in business within the industry and will further contribute to a decline,” he noted.