Wednesday 5 August, 2020

Tourism earnings for 2019 estimated at US$3.7 billion

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett

Jamaica is poised to generate US$3.7 billion in tourism earnings for 2019.

This was disclosed by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, during Trafalgar Travel Limited’s long service awards ceremony and 25th-anniversary celebration at The Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston last Thursday.

“Twenty-five years ago, Jamaica earned US$973 million and we had just a little under one million visitors. Last year, we did $3.3 billion in earnings and had 4.3 million visitors to Jamaica.

“The projection for this year is that we will be $3.7 billion, which means it took us over 50 years to make the first billion and now we are doing almost a billion in three years,” he said.

Minister Bartlett noted that for the last four quarters, tourism has led in terms of the gross domestic product (GDP) contribution to Jamaica’s growth, adding that the sector has seen an increase in its employment rate that “supersedes all other sectors”.

“I predicted when I became Minister that we would grow five by five by five. Well… we are growing eight per cent in arrivals, we are growing eight and half per cent in earnings and we are doing it in three and half years instead of the five that we had projected,” the tourism minister added.

He said Jamaica’s growth mirrors what is happening globally, adding that tourism is the country’s top foreign exchange earner, a major creator and a driving force for economic growth.

“Last year, tourism represented 11 per cent of GDP, providing some $1.3 trillion in revenue and recognising 1.4 billion international visitors across the world… . By 2025, tourism will overtake finance and banking and will, in fact, become the number-one contributor to global GDP,” he added.

He said finance and banking represent 19 per cent of GDP.

Meanwhile, the Bartlett commended the management and staff of Trafalgar Travel “for being a beacon of success in the travel agency sphere” and for playing such a critical role in supporting the country’s tourism industry.

“Twenty-five years of being in business represent a level of tenacity and know-how. More importantly, achieving such a milestone, especially in an ever-changing industry such as tourism, where the only thing that is constant is change,” he said.

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