KINGSTON, Jamaica, September 5, 2018 (CMC) – Jamaica recorded its best ever summer performance, this year, with more than 1.3 million travellers visiting the island, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said today.
He told a news conference that 1,312,494 visitors came to the island, between May and August, an increase of 4.4 percent over the same period last year.
Providing an official update on the performance of the sector at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on September 5, Bartlett said the sector continues to perform well, amidst national, regional and global challenges.
“I am pleased to inform you that we continue to see stopover arrivals trending upwards,” Bartlett told reporters, adding “we had an excellent summer period, from May to August, with provisional estimates showing stopover arrivals up by six percent over the same period last year”.
“That’s is 884,324 visitors, compared to the 834,292 in 2017,” Bartlett said, noting that for the January to August period, estimates indicate that Jamaica welcomed 2,955,007 visitors, a 4.7 increase over the same period, last year.
The figures show that of that number, there were 1,714,060 stopover arrivals and 1,240,947 cruise visitors.
“If we continue with these robust arrival figures to year end, then, for the third consecutive year, the growth of Jamaica’s tourism sector would have exceeded the projected 5 percent annual growth,” Bartlett told reporters.
He said the figures indicate that the sector is on target to outperform the benchmark target of five percent growth in five years.
“Last year broke all of that, because we got 12 percent. To grow on last year is a phenomenal achievement and to be growing at the five per cent that we project is even more phenomenal,” the Minister said.
He noted that preliminary gross foreign exchange earnings for the first eight months of 2018 were approximately $2.2 billion.