Jamaica Tourism Minister Reports Sector is Surging

image courtesy of Jamaica Tourism Ministry
image courtesy of Jamaica Tourism Ministry
Written by Linda Hohnholz

Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has outlined that Jamaica is currently experiencing an unprecedented surge in tourism infrastructural development and visitor arrivals, which has laid the foundation for the Ministry to achieve its goal of attracting 5 million visitors in 5 years, earning the country US$5 billion by 2025.

The healthy state of the country’s vibrant tourism sector was detailed to a large pool of local and foreign journalists in a press conference yesterday during the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) 42nd Caribbean Travel Marketplace, being staged at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from May 20-23, 2024.

With over 40 countries being represented by the 1,000 plus delegates, the tradeshow is being covered by a strong contingent of 50 media representatives from major international, regional and local outlets, offering a combined reach in excess of 400 million persons.

In providing an update on the sector, Minister Bartlett said “the state of the tourism industry in Jamaica is strong and flourishing,” with gross earnings up for the 2023/24 fiscal year projected to reach US$4.38 billion. He noted that so far this year, in four and a half months the country has welcomed some 1.8 million visitors, made up of 1.1 million stopovers and 733,000 cruise visitors, adding that by the end of the current month of May, “Jamaica will, for the first time in our history, record 2 million visitors in stopover and cruise, in the first five months of the year.”

The investment drive, which should see the addition of 20,000 rooms over the next 10 to 15 years, is also on track, as several new tourism infrastructural developments come on stream.

Minister Bartlett said in addition to several developments currently underway, an announcement is expected soon of 1,000 rooms by two unnamed upscale brands; 1,250 rooms by Moon Palace Grand and the Catalonia group adding 250 rooms to the Holiday Inn, which it recently acquired with another 750-room-hotel to be built at a later date.

The Minister highlighted that Grand Palladium is adding approximately 1,000 suites, a convention centre, and an entertainment centre; while Bahia Principe is making a massive investment of over half a billion US dollars to expand by 1,000 rooms, mixed with villages and upscale villas, a PGA-certified golf course, training centre and a school; while Viva Wyndham is bringing some 300 rooms onstream under the first phase of their project to add roughly 1,000 rooms.

Minister Bartlett hinted that there should also be another announcement soon of a mega development of more than 3,000 rooms in western Jamaica.

While building out capacity and strengthening human capital through the ongoing training and certification of tourism workers, Minister Bartlett said partnerships were being strengthened as Jamaica goes after new and emerging markets, while also engaging new airlines to provide the required airlift.

SEEN IN IMAGE:  Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (left), supported by Director of Tourism, Donovan White (2nd left) interact with journalists following a press conference hosted by Jamaica on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, during the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) 42nd Caribbean Travel Marketplace (CTM42), being staged at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from May 20-23, 2024. Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the region’s premier trade event, is being hosted jointly by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the CHTA along with various tourism partners. – image courtesy of Jamaica Tourism Ministry

About the author

Linda Hohnholz

Editor in chief for eTurboNews based in the eTN HQ.

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