Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has indicated that Jamaica has welcomed an unprecedented seven hundred thousand (700,000) visitors over the last three years. The tourism minister also highlighted that the island is set to earn US3.7Billion by the end of the year, which represents an almost doubling of foreign exchange over the same period.
Speaking at the 15th-anniversary celebration of Sunset at the Palms Resort in Negril yesterday, Minister Bartlett said, “The growth in our arrivals and earnings is underpinned by strategic targets set in my 5x5x5 plan. In 2016, our target was to bring 5Million visitors and earn US5Billion by 2021, now we are already at 4.5Million visitors of the 5Million and US3.7Billion of that 5Billion in earnings.”
Current data from the Jamaica Tourist Board, an agency of the Ministry of Tourism, has forecasted growth in stopover arrivals for September to December of 7% or 807,796, which would end the calendar year 2019 with 2.68M arrivals or an 8.4% increase over 2018. The earnings from the full year of stopover arrivals is estimated at US$3.49Billion or a 12% increase over 2018.
Data also shows that overall, Jamaica’s winter season is trending strongly with the Canadian market up by 29,000 new seats; the United States showing double-digit growth and South America and the Caribbean doing well.
With stopover and cruise arrivals combined, the island is expected to welcome 4.303 million visitors by the end of the year.
“Based on these figures, tourism has become the leading contributor to the growth in GDP in Jamaica. We recognize also that with this growth, comes an even greater responsibility to ensure safety, security, and seamlessness in the destination and we remain committed to keeping our enviable record of visitor safety.” added Minister Bartlett.
The Minister also highlighted that the unprecedented growth in arrivals and earnings could not be done without the sector’s dedicated workers who remain the key ingredient in the continued success of the sector.
Sunset at the Palms Resort, which marked its 15ths anniversary, was the first in the world to receive certification for Environmentally Sustainable Tourism by the U.K.’s Green Globe. The resort has also won the prestigious Governor General’s Award for overall architectural design among many others. The management of the hotel, led by Mr. Ian Kerr, recognized several members of staff for their years of service to the hotel.
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