Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has announced that as Jamaica heads into what is expected to be its best summer tourist season ever, the island has already welcomed two million stopover and cruise visitors since the start of the year.
Speaking yesterday (June 20) during his Sectoral Debate closing presentation in the House of Representatives, the tourism minister provided important data to support the historic post-pandemic strides being made in the tourism sector.
“Already before even completing the first six months of this year we have already received a combined 2 million stopover and cruise visitors with record earnings of US$2 billion, a whopping 18% above the 2019 earnings for the same time period. It should be no surprise then that Jamaica is bracing for the best summer tourist season ever,” Minister Bartlett said.
“Jamaica welcomed approximately 3.3 million visitors in 2022 and registered a remarkable US$3.7 billion recovery of earnings compared to the pre-COVID earnings of 2019. Jamaica is also experiencing a rise in summer 2023 air travel bookings by 33% as compared to summer 2022 according to data provided by one of the world’s leading travel data analytics firms, ForwardKeys,” stated Minister Bartlett.
The tourism minister also gave a brief overview of his recent trip to the United States where he engaged with key partners such as representatives from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and forged a partnership agreement between the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) and George Washington University. Minister Bartlett added: “Our U.S. engagements included a series of meetings and discussions with leading tourism stakeholders in the airline, cruise and tour operator sub-sectors including Delta Airlines, Royal Caribbean Group and Expedia. These meetings confirmed that we are certainly on track to record the best summer in our history, especially considering the visitors coming from America.”
Jamaica’s primary source market, the United States, represents 1.2 million of the 1.4 million seats that have been secured for the upcoming summer travel season, representing a 16% increase over the island’s previous best, recorded in 2019.