Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett says Jamaica’s tourism industry has benefitted tremendously from the recent staging of mega culinary and entertainment festivals.
In the month of March, Jamaica hosted its second annual Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival, the inaugural Jamaica Rum Festival as well as the much-anticipated Buju Banton Long Walk to Freedom concert. Each event saw thousands of patrons, with many visiting from overseas.
“I am very happy to announce that tourism arrivals have been impacted positively in March, from these mega-festivals. They provided an opportunity for us to broaden the market by bringing more people to the destination to meet a variety of passion points which embody the very best of our food, culture and music,” said Minister Bartlett.
The Minister also noted that preliminary figures indicate that arrivals for Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport, last Friday, ahead of Buju Banton’s Long Walk to Freedom concert, show that 2,434 foreign nationals visited. This represents a 143% increase over the same period last year.
The data from the Jamaica Tourist Board also shows that 7,389 foreign nationals arrived into Montego Bay on Friday, which is a 58% increase over the same day last year.
“The arrivals over the weekend have been very strong and as an industry we are ecstatic. Our focus on our core tourist arrivals remains on strong footing from our key source markets. Since the start of the year, as at yesterday we have receive 72,999 more visitors than last year overt the same period,” said the Minister.