With businesses growing again in Jamaica, Minister Bartlett acknowledged and thanked loyal US travelers for keeping Caribbean tourism open throughout the COVID outbreak. “American tourists saved us from bankruptcy,” the minister remarked at a news conference during the Caribbean Tourism Organization summit in the Cayman Islands.
Jamaica has led the resurgence of the Caribbean travel sector thanks to strong news coverage and the hard effort of tourism groups, stakeholders, and partners to bring tourists to the island.
“The Jamaican tourism sector is resilient and on the verge of complete recovery”, stated the minister.
Since reopening, Jamaica has received over 3.5 million stopover arrivals, including over 1.4 million arrivals in the first half of this year, from January to July. Preliminary data for July 2022 suggest a 10% increase in stopover arrivals as compared to July 2019.
Jamaica enjoyed a record-breaking summer in 2022, with more stopovers and tourist spending than in 2019. A large portion of the achievement may be attributed to Montego Bay, which demonstrated top-tier performance in summer travel recovery for 2022. The tourist capital grew by 23%, outperforming all other Caribbean locations, with the area as a whole leading the global travel rebound this year.
The United States continues to contribute the lion’s share of arrivals, accounting for around 75% of all arrivals from the country, mostly from the Northeast. Following that, Canada and the United Kingdom account for around another 22%, with additional markets following.
Cruise tourism has also restarted and is rebounding as of August 2021. Cruise passenger arrivals for the first six months of the year, June 2022, were our best performing month, with data exceeding 2019 levels. Tourism is expected to outperform 2019 overall visitor spend levels this year, with visitors expected to increase again in 2023. They are on target to reach 5 million visitors by 2025, with tourist expenditure exceeding USD 5 billion.
Jamaica is open for business and ideal for more investment. As the tourist sector rebuilds a stronger and more sustainable future to meet increasing customer needs.