Jamaica records best tourism numbers — Bartlett

Jamaica records best tourism numbers — Bartlett

Staff reporter

Monday, December 30, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has reported that the high stopover visitor arrivals and earnings for December are unprecedented in the island's tourism history.

“This December is going to be the biggest December in the history of Jamaica for stopover arrivals and earnings,” the tourism minister announced.

Speaking to reporters in Montego Bay last week, Bartlett noted that up to December 21, the statistics showed that stopover arrivals grew by nearly nine per cent but projected that the current momentum should push up the figures further by the end of the month.

He added that initially there was scepticism that the growth in stopover arrivals this December could eclipse last year's figure.

“We initially thought this December would be a little soft because December traditionally is a big month and last December was a huge month, but we are now growing at 8.8 per cent so far and that is to the 21st [of December] and the big week of Christmas is now happening and then another big week for the new years,” Bartlett stated.

He pointed out that the growth in stopover arrivals will inevitably push the earnings for the year over the US$3.7 billion projection.

“We can see that December is going to give us some double digit out-turn. Chances are 10, 11 per cent, which would be really, really strong and would ensure that the projections of this being a mega December, and in ending the year are pretty close to 2.6 million stopover arrivals and the earnings that we had projected of US$3.7 billion may very well become US$3.8 billion,” the tourism minister stated.

Bartlett noted that Jamaica, which is recording the fastest growing stopover arrivals in the Caribbean, has almost doubled tourism earnings since the Andrew Holness-led Jamaica Labour Party formed the Administration in 2016.

“What we are saying then is because of how this year has developed momentum in terms of stopover... and stopover is where the earnings are... and that's why we are growing faster in earnings than any destination in the Caribbean. We are up 10.3 per cent in earnings and the fact is in the three-and-a-half years that we have been in Government we have almost doubled the earnings in tourism because when I took over as minister we were earning US $2 billion. We are now at US$3.7 billion going to be US$3.8 billion. We are expecting that next year of course we will do US$4 billion,” Bartlett stated.

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