Jamaica welcomed 4.3 million visitors in 2019, comprising 2.7 million stopover arrivals and 1.6 million cruise passengers, the Minister of Tourism told Parliament yesterday.
Making his contribution to the 2020/21 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, June 24 Mr Bartlett said stopover arrivals last year increased by 8.4 per cent, compared to 2018. Foreign exchange earnings increased to US$3.64 billion, up by 10.3 per cent, from US$3.3 billion in 2018.
Mr. Bartlett said the room stock in 2019 was approximately 33,000, which represented more than 1,200 new rooms opened last year.
Tourism has taken a massive hit with Coronavirus this year, with an estimated 300 000 workers, including those indirectly employed, losing their jobs or having reduced work hours or pay cuts.
Since the shutdown of the industry mid-March, tourists have only two weeks ago started to return as the borders reopened for visitors June 15. Mr Bartlett said more than 3,000 visitors came in during the first week.