Tourism to Jamaica is heating up with a booming increase in arrivals and big-name resorts coming online across the island destination.
“Jamaica is experiencing record-breaking numbers, undergoing major developments, and receiving global recognition like never before,” said Donovan White, director of tourism for the Jamaica Tourist Board at the 29th Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX). “Tourism is our largest earner of foreign exchange and second largest employer of our human capital, and we are proud to share that the industry is once again poised to achieve year-on-year growth in arrivals and earnings.”
White noted that as of August, stopover visitors reached 1.87 million, an increase of 9.1% over 2018. Although cruise visits are down largely due to itinerary changes by major cruise lines, he said they project an increase in stop-over arrivals of 7% or 807,796 for the remainder of the year, “which would end the calendar year 2019 with 2.68 million arrivals – an increase of 8.4% over 2018.”
As for the Canadian market, White expects the figures to remain similar to last year with just under 400,000 visitors, with a marginal 0.08% increase recorded for the first half of the year.
With new rooms coming online, Angella Bennett, regional director, Canada for the Jamaica Tourist Board believes Canadian arrivals will continue on a positive trajectory.
“The growth of Canada is heavily dependent on increased airlift, increased room stock on the destination and at the right price point,” said Bennett. “Jamaica has added almost 1,000 new rooms in 2019, and in 2020 and beyond Jamaica will witness the largest growth in hotel rooms ever with the expansion of existing properties and the construction of new ones.”
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