KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday February 22, 2019 – Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett is projecting that the tourism sector will provide 41,000 new jobs by 2022.
In his speech delivered on his behalf by Regional Manager of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Odette Dyer at the Hyatt Hotels’ Eminence Staff Awards this week, Bartlett said with the continued unprecedented growth in the sector, impending hotel construction and expansion of room stocks, thousands of employment opportunities will be created in the coming years.
“During the course of 2019, an additional 1,005 rooms are slated to come on stream. When you consider the ratio of 2.3 employees per room, that’s an additional 2,300 workers, and this number does not include people like your bar staff, pool and beach attendants and several other categories of workers,” he said.
And he said that come 2020 and beyond, Jamaica will witness the largest growth in hotel rooms ever with the construction boom, pointing out that the expansion of current hotels and the construction of new ones will add another 18,157 rooms.
“Using the average employee-to-room ratio, that’s another 41,000 jobs,” the Minister contended.
In the meantime, Bartlett said, the Government will continue its thrust to train Jamaicans to be able to capitalize on imminent employment opportunities.
“We have partnered with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to have hospitality training in tertiary and high schools, and that’s why we have the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI) to certify all categories of tourism workers. While we train for employment, I want to see Jamaicans benefiting more from tourism by taking control of the supply side of the industry. Jamaicans must invest in themselves by investing in the industry,” he emphasised.
The tourism industry directly employs over 117,000 Jamaicans, while generating indirect jobs for another 250,000 Jamaicans.