Tuesday 25 September, 2018

Tourism boom despite state of emergency

The country recorded overall market growth of 5.4 per cent for the first six months of the year, with stopover tourist arrivals increasing by 5.9 per cent, and cruise arrivals by 4.8 per cent over the same period last year. 

The country recorded overall market growth of 5.4 per cent for the first six months of the year, with stopover tourist arrivals increasing by 5.9 per cent, and cruise arrivals by 4.8 per cent over the same period last year. 

Quick and sustained interventions by the Tourism Ministry and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), to counter the effects of the implementation of the state of emergency in the parish of St James in January of this year, have reportedly succeeded.

The country recorded overall market growth of 5.4 per cent for the first six months of the year, with stopover tourist arrivals increasing by 5.9 per cent, and cruise arrivals by 4.8 per cent over the same period last year. 

At a press conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre to announce the sector’s performance for the first six months of this year, Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, said: “The strong on-the-ground marketing engagements which brought us face-to-face with key stakeholders here and around the world, … has helped to not only stave off any fall-out from these (security) measures, but increased growth in arrivals to our shores.

“While the implementation of enhanced security measures did stir a whirlwind of concerns locally and internationally, particularly in the international press, several partners overseas welcomed the initiative as a necessary step, and continue to support our nation’s security apparatus in their efforts to make Jamaica a safe place for all,” the mnister added.

For the period January to June 2018, Jamaica recorded over 1.25 million in stopover arrivals, and 1.03 million in cruise arrivals. This reflected over 100,000 more tourists for the period, and a sizeable increase in foreign exchange earnings.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett

Minister Bartlett further said: “Of note is that the sector brought in US$1.556 billion in foreign exchange earnings, which represents an increase of 7.3 per cent. Stopover arrivals accounted for US$1.459 billion in earnings, up 7.2 per cent, and cruise US$100.6 million, an increase of 9.4 per cent.”

In highlighting the work done, Director of Tourism, Donovan White, noted that “It has been all hands on deck as teams locally and overseas spread the message of destination Jamaica’s commitment to security and safety. As we ramp up digital marketing strategies among a range of other initiatives, we are to improve on these figures.”

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