Jamaica tourism numbers have hit new records for the first quarter of the year according to official statistics.
Provisional data shows that last March recorded a whopping 11.3% increase in stopover arrivals over the same month last year. Of note also is that for the period, gross estimated Foreign Exchange Earnings stood at US$821.2million representing an increase of 8%” Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, announced.
The minister added that total stop over and cruise passenger arrivals, stood at approximately 1.3 million for the first quarter of 2018 (January to March), that is over 80 thousand more tourists than the corresponding period last year or 6.6% in percentage terms.
Bartlett estimates that these figures “come on the heels of last year’s record growth in arrivals which eclipsed the total increase of the previous four years, 2012-2015 with total arrivals of approximately 4.3 million and foreign exchange earnings reaching approximately US$3 billion”.
These increased “are as a result of a dynamic and multifaceted stakeholder engagement campaign cutting across our main markets – the U.S, Canada and Europe – by our team and our first-rate partners in the private sector, he said.
Jamaica closed out its 2017 tourism year, shattering all previous records for the fast-growing industry.
Last January Bartlett said in a press release Jamaica ended the year with 4.3 million visitors. “That wasn’t an ordinary record because it meant that nearly 500,000 more visitors came to Jamaica in a single year, which has never happened anywhere in this part of the Anglophobe Caribbean”, the minister explained.
Now Bartlett -one of the most successful tourism minister in the area– considered this continued growth in arrivals also indicates that “we are well on our way of surpassing our 5 million annual visitor arrivals target before 2021” under his growth strategy.
Bartlett has been named Tourism Minister of the Year Worldwide on March 8 at the ITB Berlin 2018, the world’s leading travel trade show, in Germany.