Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says Jamaica has welcomed just over three million visitors since the start of the year.
This includes approximately 1.9 million stopover visitors and just over one million cruise-ship passengers. Additionally, the Bartlett said the resulting earnings are up 10.2 per cent, and on course to surpass the projected year-end target of US$3.7 billion.
Speaking at a media briefing at the ministry’s New Kingston offices on Tuesday (Oct 1), Bartlett said the out-turn for stopover arrivals represents an increase of 150,000 or some 8.6 per cent over the corresponding period in 2018.
He said the out-turns put Jamaica “firmly on track to meet and exceed our end of year targets… notwithstanding the fallout from cruise ship arrivals”.
He added: “We [also believe we] will still be able to make our targets, insofar as the ‘5x5x5’ key performance indicators (KPIs) that we have established are concerned.”
The Ministry’s 5x5x5 growth agenda aims to attract five million tourists by 2021; generate US$5 billion in earnings; increase total direct jobs to 125,000; and add 15,000 hotel rooms.
Meanwhile, Mr Bartlett advised that he will be flying to Canada to join Tourism Director, Donovan White, and other Ministry and Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) team members for the start of the JTB’s marketing campaign in that North American country. Noting that Canada has been Jamaica’s second-largest source market with an average of 400,000 visitors, Bartlett said the JTB has crafted a “very strong marketing programme” to retrieve some of the recent fallout in arrivals and “set the Canadian market back on track”.