JHTA anticipates increased tourist arrivals ahead of summer season
The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) says it anticipates increased tourist arrivals for the summer season.
The increased arrivals are to be achieved through targeted marketing efforts coming out of the Jamaica Product Exchange - which comes to a close today in Montego Bay, St James, and has attracted hundreds of buyers and sellers from the industry across Jamaica - and the 'Staycation' campaign recently launched by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
"International tourism reached new heights in 2015. The robust performance of the sector is contributing to economic growth and job creation in many parts of the world and for us here in Jamaica. It is, thus, critical for us to promote programmes that foster the continued growth of tourism, including travel facilitation, human resource development, and sustainability," said Nicola Madden-Greig, president of the JHTA.
SIXTH YEAR OF GROWTH
According to a press release issued in January 2016 by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), 2015 marked the sixth consecutive year of above-average growth, with international arrivals increasing by four per cent or more every year since 2010.
The release stated that demand was strong overall, with mixed results due to unusually strong exchange-rate fluctuations, the drop in oil prices and other commodities which increased disposable income in some countries but weakened demand in others, as well as increased safety and security concerns.
Results from the UNWTO Confidence Index remain largely positive for 2016, though at a slightly lower level as compared to the previous two years.
Based on the current trend and this outlook, UNWTO projects international tourist arrivals to grow by four per cent worldwide in 2016.
International tourist arrivals in the Americas (+5%) grew nine million to reach 191 million, consolidating the strong results of 2014. The appreciation of the US dollar stimulated outbound travel from the United States, benefiting the Caribbean and Central America, both recording seven per cent growth.
Greig said 2015 tourism arrivals "were partly influenced by exchange rates, oil prices and natural and man-made crises in many parts of the world".
She added: "As we increase our marketing efforts, we anticipate that the 0.5 per cent growth achieved in 2015 (1,366,579 visitors) will increase. We will be working closely with the JTB in our collective capacities to promote safe, secure, and seamless travel to the island."