45,000 new tourism workers needed over the next decade to keep pace with growing demand -Bartlett
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica will need an additional 45,000 new tourism workers over the next five to 10 years in order to keep pace with the “significant growth” taking place in the industry.
Bartlett, who was speaking recently at the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation’s (JCTI) Recognition and Awards Ceremony, stressed the need for training and preparation to meet the increasing demand. He highlighted the importance of developing Jamaica’s human capacity to provide the highest level of service and create the best possible experience for visitors.
“We are building 20,000 new rooms, and we have already created 2,000 of them… but how many workers will we need? We are going to need at least 45,000 more workers and they are going to have to come from our people, who must be trained,” Bartlett said.
He pointed to the potential of Jamaica’s tourism growth, stating, “I have a new KPI (key performance indicator); we are going after eight million visitors to Jamaica and US$10 billion in earnings.”
With projections indicating an additional one billion tourists travelling worldwide in the next 10 to 15 years, Jamaica aims to attract a significant share of these travellers.
The tourism minister mentioned several developments in different parishes, including St Ann, Trelawny and St James that will contribute to Jamaica’s accommodation capacity and job creation.
To meet this demand, the JCTI, along with local educational institutions, will play a crucial role in preparing individuals for employment in the tourism industry.
“We must have trained workers who can give the highest level of service and enable tourists to have the best experience possible. Then we can earn at the highest level because they pay for quality service,” said Bartlett.
The JCTI Recognition and Awards Ceremony acknowledged the achievements of the JCTI’s partners, dedicated tutors, participating hotels, and graduates who obtained certification from October 2022 to November 2023.
During the period, over 3,500 individuals received certification, and an additional 4,500 registered for certification programmes, resulting in an impressive 89 per cent pass rate. The JCTI, which falls under the Tourism Enhancement Fund, focuses on human capital development, using a learner-centred and industry-led approach to enhance Jamaica’s competitiveness as an international destination.
With its focus on training and human capital development, Jamaica is setting itself up for a thriving tourism industry that offers exceptional experiences to visitors while bringing significant benefits to the country’s economy and people.