Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says that 2019 was another successful year for tourism with the sector poised to generate record numbers in arrivals and earnings.
“In 2018, we welcomed 4.3 million visitors, which earned us US$3.3 billion and this year we are well on our way to surpassing this record achievement,” he said.
“Jamaica is poised to generate some US$3.7 billion in tourism earnings for 2019 and total arrivals are looking equally promising,” he adds.
Mr. Bartlett says that the Ministry is already gearing up for 2020 and beyond, where the growth trend is expected to continue.
He notes that cruise shipping over the next three years should regain the momentum from 2018. He points to the inaugural visit of the Symphony of the Seas –the world’s largest cruise ship – in May 2020, as a signal that “happy days will be here again.”
“Jamaica is a part of the western Caribbean itinerary and once Grand Cayman sorts out the docking situation, where they would once again be able to facilitate the Royal Caribbean Oasis-class vessels, then our numbers will climb back up,” Mr Bartlett points out.
“The inaugural visit of the Symphony of the Seas is a solid sign that our cruise situation is about to change for the better and where our ports, including the newest addition, Port Royal, should do very well,” he notes.
He says that tourism will also benefit significantly from the addition of rooms.
“Such is the demand for our tourism product that our current room stock of some 33,000 is expected to double in the next 10 years,” he notes.
Minister Bartlett, in highlighting the importance of tourism to national progress, says the industry continues to be one of Jamaica’s fastest-growing and most resilient economic sectors, which promotes inclusion and diversity and is therefore ideally suited as a vehicle to improve the livelihoods of the populace and facilitate development in communities across the island.
— JIS (Ainsworth Morris)