KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday April 2, 2019 – Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says the sector is projected to see record numbers in arrivals and earnings for the 2018/2019 winter tourist season, which runs from December to April.
He said total arrivals are estimated at 1.5 million, with stopover visitors accounting for 900,000, which is the highest figure for a single winter season. And earnings for the period are estimated to be in excess of US$1.6 million.
“The earnings…[are] going to break all records this year because this is now going to be the largest winter in the history of Jamaica,” he said at the Tourism Service Excellence Awards ceremony. “2019 is trending in a way that is going to break all records.”
Bartlett disclosed that for the first 12 weeks of 2019, the country recorded more than 650,000 stopover visitors with March arrivals at record levels.
“March is trending as the biggest month ever in our history with 34,000 more visitors in a single month of March than last year this time,” he said.
“If you do the stats, you will see that we are now trending to achieve close to five million in arrivals [in 2019] and that would be one year ahead of my growth target. We are trending to earn US$4 billion, which will be well ahead of the projections that we made.”
The Minister has committed to attracting five million tourists, generating US$5 billion in earnings, facilitating 125,000 direct jobs, and adding 15,000 rooms by 2021.