Jamaica welcomed approximately 4.3 million visitors in 2019, comprising 2.7 million stopover arrivals and 1.6 million cruise passengers, whose combined spending contributed to the destination earnings of US$3.64 billion.
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett made the disclosure recently in the country’s 2020/21 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.
He stated that stopover arrivals last year increased by 8.4 percent, compared to 2018, with each visitor spending an average of 8.6 nights, and overall foreign exchange earnings increased by 10.3 percent, up 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.
He pointed out that the Government has been steadily repositioning tourism to ensure higher local retention of revenues.
“When we took office in 2016, Jamaica was retaining 30 cents of every dollar earned in the industry. We are now retaining 40.8 cents, a 36 percent increase, which is among the highest in the region,” Mr. Bartlett said.
“As I also believe that earnings are the most important metric of ensuring that tourism promotes national economic interests, I take great pleasure in the fact that the country has been able to increase earnings by US$1 billion in just over three years,” he added.
Additionally, he said that it’s projected that the sector will generate 127,000 jobs by 2021.
Pollyanna Davy, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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