Jamaica is poised to generate a projected US$5 billion in earnings from tourism for the 2023 calendar year, based on the current trend in the industry’s out-turns, according to Portfolio Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.
He says the country is also expected to welcome five million visitors in 2024, one year ahead of the initial target timeline.
The Minister was addressing day two of the Jamaica Customer Service Association’s (JCSA) National Customer Service Week (NCSW) and Service Excellence virtual conference on Wednesday (October 5).
Mr. Bartlett said the 2023 revenue inflow projection was based on the fact that come to the end of 2022, “we are going to pass US$4 billion [in] earnings”, describing this as “a huge achievement… for the industry”.
“We are now seeing [over] the last three or four months of reporting, starting in June, where we are exceeding arrivals for 2019. Initially, we had set ourselves the target of having five million visitors [and] earning US$5 billion over five years. We had set that in 2020 to make it a program for 2025, [and] we are well down the wicket in that regard,” the Minister said.
Mr. Bartlett said the tourism industry is rebounding well from the two-year slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to experience growth.
The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) April to June 2022 Quarterly Report indicates that tourism continues to drive the country’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
The economy grew by 5.7 percent during the period, relative to the corresponding period in 2021, with the tourism and hospitality sector contributing substantially.
Data from the PIOJ indicate that the ‘Hotels and Restaurants’ subsector grew by an estimated 55.4 percent.
The data also show that the average length of stay by stopover visitors has returned to 2019 levels of 7.9 nights, and is moving towards 10 days/nights, according to Mr. Bartlett.
The Minister further advised that the average spend per tourist has increased from US$168 to US$182 per night.
Consequent on this, Mr. Bartlett pointed out Jamaica has welcomed 5.1 million and earned US $5.7 billion, since the industry’s reopening in June 2020, following its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister maintained that consequent on the local industry’s faster than anticipated recovery, “we now know we can be earning close to US$200 per night per visitor”.
The Conference is being held from October 2 to 8 under the theme ‘Celebrating Service Excellence: Reigniting a Culture of Care’.
It is being staged in collaboration with the Office of the Cabinet.
Source — JIS
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Edited by Jesus Chan
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