“As of May 10, 2023, the island has welcomed just over 1.5 million total visitors, with provisional gross earnings exceeding US$ 1.6 billion for the same period. The 2023 summer is gearing up to be the best summer in the history of tourism in Jamaica,” says Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.
Already, 1.4 million seats have been secured, representing a 16% increase over the previous best in 2019. Jamaica’s main source market, the United States of America, has locked in 1.2 of these seats. “We are expecting a load factor of some 87.5%, which means that 1.2 million visitors will come to Jamaica over the summer period and will bring revenue of some US$1.5 billion just within that period of June to August,” says Mr Bartlett.
Travel bookings are currently showing a rise of 33% compared to summer 2022 and the anticipated boom is being weighed against Jamaica having welcomed approximately 3.3 million visitors for 2022/23 to register a remarkable recovery of earnings compared to pre-Covid earnings of 2019.
In the meantime, Minister Bartlett is also upbeat over the increasing number of celebrities flocking to Jamaica. “Making Jamaica their place of choice for a vacation is testimony to the post-Covid impression we have made and the appeal that we now have in the marketplace as well as confidence in what we offer as a leading destination,” he says.
The most recent celebrity to grace our shores is American actress Angelina Jolie, who was spotted Saturday at the 15th Calabash International Literary Festival in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, which has become a cultural mecca that attracts thousands of writers and literary enthusiasts from across the globe.
Another celebrity recently on the island was top U.S. rapper ‘2Chainz’ whose real name is Tauheed Epps. He stood out at a party at Elevate Lounge and Nightclub in Montego Bay Wednesday night for the launch of Mochafest Jamaica 2023.
Mocha Fest is an Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean destination festival brand that promotes freedom of self and expression and since 2014, has been creating life-changing vacation experiences for thousands of people across the world. The series of party events started as a single festival in Jamaica with only 200 people and has now grown to multiple destinations worldwide with events as large as 5,000 attendees.
‘2Chainz’ was joined by Senior Advisor and Strategist in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright, other government officials and scores of largely American party vacationers. He has been sharing his time in Jamaica with his over 12 million Instagram followers, giving the country tremendous exposure.
‘2Chainz’ and Angelina Jolie join a slew of other celebrities, including Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and his family; Senior US President Joe Biden administration Cabinet member and U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen; Maryland Governor Wes Moore; Hollywood screen actors Michael Douglas, his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, John Amos and Tracee Ellis Ross; Nigerian Afrobeat mega-star Burna Boy as well as American music stars Dua Lipa, Cardi B, Offset, Rick Ross, Omarion and Chance the Rapper, who have made Jamaica their preferred vacation spot in recent months.
Meanwhile, capitalizing on the goodwill being generated, Minister Bartlett is gearing up to lead a high-profile team from the Ministry of Tourism to sure up business in the lucrative North American travel market.