Jamaica minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has said the island is now poised to fully recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, having seen one of its best ever weekends.
There were 27,000 visitor arrivals in the Caribbean destination between last Thursday and Sunday, a record for the pandemic era.
“This is critical, as it makes the point that from the month of March, which traditionally, is a full one, it has started out well and the bookings are indicating a very, very strong March which would equate with the month of March in 2019,” Bartlett said.
“The tourism industry is now poised for full recovery, officially.”
Last Saturday was a particularly strong day, with 8,700 visitors touching down.
In 2019, the contribution of travel and tourism to the Jamaican GDP was 35 per cent.
Bartlett noted that it is very important for the tourism workers to be back on the job, as the pandemic recedes.
“It is very important too for suppliers, that they now have some certainty, in terms of the flow of visitors that need to come in and it also speaks to our investment and financial partners, that now we can feel a sense of confidence to apply more resources to the visitors’ consumption patterns,” the minister noted.
He said that his ministry was excited about the prospects for agriculture, and has decided to increase support for the production drive, as well as the manufacturers, ground transportation, cultural services providers and the entertainers.
“This is the moment, and as we recover, we want to recover together so that the supply chain for tourism can be infused with a strong local content, so that the dollar can stay in Jamaica and ensure that the real benefits of tourism accrue to the people of Jamaica,” he concluded.