Jamaica News: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says that the sector is projected to see record numbers in arrivals and earnings for the 2018/2019 winter tourist season, which runs from December to April.
He said that total arrivals is estimated at 1.5 million, with stopover visitors accounting for 900,000, which is the highest figure for a single winter season.
Minister Bartlett said that earnings for the period are estimated to be in excess of US$1.6 million.
“The earnings… [are] going to break all records this year because this is now going to be the largest winter in the history of Jamaica,” he noted.
The Minister, who was speaking at the Tourism Service Excellence Awards (TSEA) ceremony at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Saturday (March 30), said that “2019 is trending in a way that is going to break all records”.
He informed that for the first 12 weeks of 2019, the country recorded more than 650,000 stopover visitors with March arrivals at record levels.
“March is trending as the biggest month ever in our history with 34,000 more visitors in a single month of March than last year this time,” he noted.
Minister Bartlett said that Jamaica’s tourism sector is poised to exceed the projected growth targets.
“If you do the stats, you will see that we are now trending to achieve close to five million in arrivals [in 2019] and that would be one year ahead of my growth target. We are trending to earn US$4 billion, which will be well ahead of the projections that we made,” he said.
The Minister has committed to attracting five million tourists, generating US$5 billion in earnings, facilitating 125,000 direct jobs, and adding 15,000 rooms by 2021.
Meanwhile, the Half Moon hotel and Training Manager at the facility, Conroy Thompson, walked away with the top awards in the organisation and individual categories, respectively, of the 2018 Tourism Service Excellence Awards.
The annual award scheme, organised by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCO), seeks to recognise and reward tourism entities and individuals that have consistently provided exemplary service within the industry.
There were 19 finalists – 10 entities and nine individuals – representing Jamaica’s five resort regions of Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Negril and the South Coast.
Minister Bartlett commended the finalists, noting that “it is because of your excellence in service that Jamaica, today, enjoys perhaps the finest level of growth that any destination in the world could ever hope for”.
Source; JIS News