Tourism earnings to sxceed US$4 billion this year, says minister Bartlett

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Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett [Photo: Adrian Walker ]

By Shanna K. Salmon

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – Jamaica’s tourism earnings are expected to be “significantly higher” this year, exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels, says tourism minister, Edmund Bartlett.

“We are looking now at earning in excess of US$4 billion this year, which would exceed 2019 figures by US$500 million to US$600 million,” he noted.

He said that visitor arrival, including from cruises, are projected to be above three million, which is similar to 2019 figures.

“So, all in all, tourism is looking good,” the minster added. “We are making sure that the industry is [playing] its key growth role in the wider Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth arrangement,” he said, noting that priority is also being placed on ensuring that the sector is more inclusive, and provides for the well-being of Jamaica as a whole.

The minister was speaking at a recent Think Tank at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) head office in Kingston.

Director of tourism, Donovan White, who also addressed the session, noted that visitors are staying longer in the destination, being more immersive and are spending more.

“In 2019, our average length of stay would have been somewhere around 6.9 nights. In 2022, we are just over eight nights per visitor,” said White, adding that the average daily rate in 2019 was approximately US $168 per person, per day while in 2022, the rate is US $180 per person, per day.

He noted that during the extended stay, visitors are going to more restaurants, bars, parties, events and are buying more craft and taking more tours.

Meanwhile, the ministry of tourism will observe Tourism Awareness Week from September 25 to October 1, under the theme: ‘Rethinking Tourism’.

A series of activities have been organised to include a church service and the virtual Edmund Bartlett lecture series on Sunday, September 25;

  • The ‘Style Jamaica’ runway show on Monday, September 26;
  • A tourism opportunities visionary symposium on Tuesday, September 27;
  • A youth forum on Wednesday, September 28;
  • A special virtual knowledge forum on Thursday, September 29;
  • The official launch of the innovation-based tourism incubator on Friday, September 30;
  • School speaking engagements from Monday, September 26 to Friday, September 30; a tourism stakeholder engagement activity and a youth poster competition.

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