KINGSTON, Jamaica, October 2, 2019 (CMC) – More than three million visitors, including just over one million cruise ship passengers, have visited Jamaica, since the start of the year, Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, has said.
He announced that the island has earned an increase of 10.2 percent in revenue, and is on course to surpass the projected year-end target of US$3.7 billion.
Bartlett noted the out-turn for stop-over arrivals represents an increase of 150,000 or an estimated 8.6 percent over the corresponding period in 2018, describing this as a “really impressive performance”.
He said the out-turns put Jamaica “firmly on track to meet and exceed our end of year targets… notwithstanding the fallout from cruise ship arrivals.
“We [also believe we] will still be able to make our targets, insofar as the ‘5x5x5’ key performance indicators (KPIs) that we have established are concerned.”
The Ministry’s 5x5x5 growth agenda aims to attract five million tourists by 2021; generate five billion US dollars in earnings; increase total direct jobs to 125,000 and add 15,000 hotel rooms.
Bartlett announced that he would be travelling to Canada to join Tourism Director, Donovan White, and other Ministry and Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) team members for the start of the JTB’s marketing campaign in that North American country.
He said Canada has been Jamaica’s second largest source market, with an average of 400,000 visitors, and that the JTB has crafted a “very strong marketing program” to retrieve some of the recent fallout in arrivals and “set the Canadian market back on track”.
Additionally, he said the move forms part of efforts to “create the resilience that our industry needs to ensure that our growth projection for 2020 into 2021 is secured”.
“It is important that that growth is maintained. So, we will be meeting with all our partners over the three days that we will be there… our airline partners, our tour operators, our travel agents,” Barteltt said, adding that the team would also be meeting with members of the Jamaican Diaspora, whom he described as “a big part of our market”.
“They are our marketers. It is our Diaspora that represents the first point of contact between potential visitors to Jamaica and Jamaica. So, it is critical that they are fully aligned in terms of the marketing program that we have,” he added.