Resurgence in tourism spurs economic growth in Jamaica - STATIN

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Jamaica’s resurgent tourism industry continues to largely spearhead the country’s gradual recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic economic fallout.

According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), the ‘Hotels and Restaurants’ category fueled the third quarter 2022 calendar year growth of 5.9 per cent, between July and September.

A STATIN communiqué on Friday indicated that this category grew by 35.3 per cent to outpace other subsectors recording growth in the Services Industry, which rose by six per cent during the period.

The Goods Producing Industry also grew, recording a 5.6 per cent outturn.

Growth in the hotels and restaurants segment largely resulted from increased activities in the hotels and other short-stay accommodation subcategory, which recorded a 49.2 per cent rise in foreign national arrivals, supported by positive outturns for restaurants, bars, and canteens.

Speaking during the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) quarterly briefing in November, Director General, Dr Wayne Henry, indicated that stopover arrivals for August totalled approximately 218,849. He noted that this represented the highest figure on record for any August , “and signals a return to pre-COVID monthly arrival levels.”

“Cruise passenger arrivals totalled 156,609 in July [and] August, relative to 3,496 in the corresponding period of 2021,” the director general further informed.

Dr Henry said visitor expenditure was estimated to have increased by 49.5 per cent to US$692.8 million for July and August, relative to the corresponding period in 2021.

The other services industry subsectors recording growth were: ‘Other Services’, up 13.1 per cent; ‘Transport, Storage and Communication’, up 5.9 per cent; ‘Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repairs, Installation of Machinery and Equipment’, up 5.3 per cent; ‘Electricity and Water Supply’, up 3.9 per cent; ‘Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities’, up 3.3 per cent; ‘Finance and Insurance Services’, up one per cent, and Producers of Government Services, up 0.1 per cent.

STATIN pointed out, however, that ‘Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing’, and ‘Manufacturing’, with outturns of 17 and 9.5 per cent respectively, were the only goods producing industry subsectors which grew during the September quarter.

The Institute noted that the agriculture sector benefited from the Government’s ongoing programme implementation, aimed specifically at optimising productivity. The other two sub-sectors – ‘Mining and Quarrying', and ‘Construction’, contracted by 27.6 and 3.1 per cent, respectively.

STATIN said Jamaica’s September quarter growth performance reflected the country’s continued economic recovery from the impact of the pandemic.

“When compared to the second quarter of 2022, the economy grew by 2.1 per cent. This was due to growth in both the Services and the Goods Producing Industries of 1.2 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively,” the Institute pointed out.

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