As Jamaica enjoys its best summer tourist season ever, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has revealed that the island is now the only Caribbean nation to secure increased earnings in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Jamaica is the first and only Caribbean country, within the first year after the COVID-19 pandemic, to not just fully recover but in fact to have increased earnings. The result is that today Jamaica is heading for a record in terms of earnings and is some 10-15% ahead in terms of stopover arrivals, while only lagging in cruise,” Minister Bartlett outlined.
Mr. Bartlett made the announcement as he addressed media representatives in Hungary where he is currently leading a special marketing blitz to promote destination Jamaica amid the staging of the 19th World Athletics Championships underway in Budapest.
The Minister also outlined that plans are in place to triple the number of visitors from Central and Eastern Europe by 2025, amid efforts to position Jamaica as a destination of choice for visitors from that region.
“Jamaica currently receives some 2,000 visitors from Central and Eastern Europe, with Hungary contributing to that amount. However we are ramping up our marketing efforts with new airlift arrangements as well as fam trips, so we expect to increase that number to 6,000 visitors by 2025,” he explained.
“We are looking at ways to build relationships with other countries around Europe.”
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“With countries such as Serbia, Georgia, and Poland and to use Condor as the critical airline for connectivity with the region, with the Berlin to Montego Bay route as a start,” he added.
Mr. Bartlett’s comments come on the heels of the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s recent quarterly report, which confirmed that total visitor expenditure for April 2023 increased by 19.7%, compared with the corresponding month in 2022, as well as a 14.7% rise in preliminary airport arrivals for July 2023. These figures highlight that Jamaica is on track to meet its projections of 3.8 million visitors and foreign exchange earnings of US$4.1 billion by the end of the year.
Minister Bartlett stressed that “Jamaica’s tourism sector continues to register record-breaking growth, not just by chance but due to the strategic response to the pandemic by the Ministry of Tourism and our committed tourism partners. I must commend the entire tourism team for their hard work, which has enabled us to navigate our way through the pandemic.”