Jamaica Tourism Hits Record of 1 Million Stopover Tourist Arrivals In 5 Months

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica tourism performance has hit yet another record with Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett pointing out that stop over arrivals for the first five months of the year, January to May 2018 surpassed a million standing at roughly 1,025,997, representing a 5.5% increase over the same period last year. 

Cruise arrivals also recorded a 5.5% increase for the same period standing at 933,892 thus bringing total visitor arrivals figures to a record-breaking near 2 million. 

Bartlett noted that, “Having a million stopover tourist arrivals for the first five months of the year is truly unprecedented. These provisional estimates mean that over 52,000 more tourists arrived on our shores over the same period for 2017. It also means that we are on track to welcoming at least 4.6 million visitors for 2018, which is yet another record.” 

Jamaica Tourism Hits Record of 1 Million Stopover Tourist Arrivals In 5 Months

Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett greets tourists (file photo)

Jamaica A World Class Destination

“Jamaica’s tourism continues to prove itself to be resilient and robust. I am pleased that through the hard work of our team and sector workers, and continued diversification of our product to focus on experiential tourism, Jamaica remains a world class destination that is highly sought after.” 

Minister Bartlett added that, “of note is the significant increase in foreign exchange earnings for the period which increased by 9% and stood at US$1.3billion, up from US$1.2billion. As a main driver of economic growth, Tourism is consistently showing its impact on economies locally, regionally and globally.” 

Record tourist arrivals of 4.3 million in 2017, represented a 12.1% increase in arrivals over 2016 and making it the first time that Jamaica increased overall visitor arrivals by 500,000 in a single calendar year. This figure comprised approximately 2.35 million stopover arrivals and 1.95 million cruise passengers.

Jamaica Tourism Revenue Grows

Revenue flows grew from US$2.5billion in 2016 to a record revenue flow of approximately US$3 billion. The drive to increase tourist arrivals and revenue falls in line with the Ministry of Tourism’s 5x5x5 growth agenda, which aims to attract 5 million tourists by 2021; generate US$5 billion in earnings; increase total direct jobs to 125,000 and add 15,000 rooms.

Meanwhile, Communications Strategist, Delano Seiveright pointed out that Bartlett’s multipronged and collaborative approach to growing the sector is reaping huge dividends. “More new flights, more new Hotel rooms, closer collaboration with cruise operators, enhancing relationships with non-traditional players like Airbnb and, of course, deepening linkages across entertainment, gastronomy, health and wellness, and other areas for first rate visitor experiences are the cornerstone of Bartlett’s aggressive tourism growth strategy. He is effectively leading a team that pounds the pavement and gets things done in a year that started with some very serious challenges.”

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