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Jamaica Nears Pre-Pandemic Tourism Spending Levels

Jamaica has come roaring back since the COVID-19 crisis.

The Caribbean island nation’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, said at a town hall over the weekend that the country is ahead of schedule in its recovery from the pandemic and is on par with the amount of tourism revenue brought in the last full pre-COVID-19 year of 2019.

Bartlett said that tourism has accounted for $3 billion in spending in Jamaica through August 27, according to the 150-year-old Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner.

In fact, if it continues at that pace for the rest of the year, 2022 will surpass 2019’s entire yearly total of $3.6 billion from the tourism sector.

“I’m able to say to you that tourism, as the industry that drives the economy, now is recovering faster than we anticipated,” Bartlett said. “We projected that we would recover to 2019 level by 2023-2024. We had a mid-year review this weekend and I’m very pleased to tell you that, to date, we have 1.7 million visitors who have come and they’ve spent just a little under $3 billion. In 2019, we earned $3.6 billion full year, and we’ve gone eight months and we’re just at the edge of $3 billion so we’re projecting $4B (for all of 2022).”


Jamaica has long been one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean, but its resurgence has been remarkable. Even the airlines are noticing, as Frontier Airlines recently expanded flights to the island.