Minister of Tourism Announces One Million Visitor Arrivals To Date For 2023

At a destination press briefing held at the 41st Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Barbados, Minister of Tourism the Hon. Edmund Bartlett announced that Jamaica has surpassed one million visitor arrivals year-to-date for 2023, reaching this milestone approximately one month earlier than in 2022. He also updated attending media on Jamaica’s robust tourism arrivals, investments and work to build resilience for the industry on island and throughout the world.  

“From January through December 2022 Jamaica welcomed 2,478,386 stopover arrivals, a 69.2% increase over 2021 and nearly a full recovery to 2019 highs,” said Minister Bartlett. “As of May 10, we received over a million visitor arrivals to date this year, putting our destination on par with 2019 records. We have seen steady growth in our arrivals and continued investment in the tourism sector, which is a tremendous achievement. Projecting ahead for 2023 through 2025, we expect to attract more than 3.8 million visitors in 2023 and grow to more than 5 million visitors in 2025.” 

Minister Bartlett continued, “To keep this growth on an upward trajectory, we continue to build out new air service with new flights this year from Chicago Midway, Denver, St. Louis, Dallas, Kansas City, and London Gatwick.  Plus, we are expanding and modernizing Sangster International Airport and have approximately 8,000 new hotel rooms slated for construction over the next two to five years.”  

“Further, Jamaica has implemented the Blue Ocean Strategy to develop a more sustainable, diverse tourism product,” he added. “We have also established Global Tourism Resilience Day with the United Nations to take place annually on February 17 with the aim of growing awareness for tourism to build back stronger and take steps to protect itself from future disruptions.”  

Donovan White, Director of Tourism added, “The fact that Jamaica’s tourism arrivals continue to rise is a clear testament to the success of our internal strategies, destination marketing initiatives and relationships with key travel partners on island and worldwide. The Jamaica Tourist Board is very grateful to all who have contributed to Jamaica’s success in lifting our tourism product to new heights meeting and soon to exceed 2019 record levels.” 

Minister Bartlett also noted that Jamaica is leveraging key pillars for tourism that showcase the destination’s unique culture and heritage while simultaneously addressing the desire from today’s traveler to experience more than just sun, sea, and sand.  He emphasized the need to carefully manage the tourist industry through resilience building where it can continually adapt to issues that may arise and to put plans in place to protect it from potential future shocks.

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Edited by Jesus Chan

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