Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Jamaica recorded 8.6% increase in tourism earnings in 2018

Published:Wednesday | January 9, 2019 | 12:36 PM
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett (centre) addresses members of the press on Wednesday, January 8, 2019, during a briefing at the Ministry’s New Kingston office. Sharing in the moment are International Security Expert Dr Peter Tarlow (left) and Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company Dr Andrew Spencer - Contributed photo

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says Jamaica saw an 8.6% increase in tourism revenue in 2018.

Bartlett told a press conference held at the Ministry’s New Kingston office yesterday that the preliminary figures from the Jamaica Tourist Board has shown a new record for the industry in terms of arrivals and spend.

“At the end of December 2018, Jamaica had 4.31 million visitors, which represents the second year in a row that the county has had over 4.3 million visitors in a single year. But, the earnings is the area of greatest performance for us in 2018 because we had an 8.6 % in earnings from 3 billion in 2017 to 3.3 billion in 2018,” said Bartlett.

He added: " This means that Jamaica had 40 years of tourism earnings to make its first billion, which came about in 1995. The second billion was earned in 2010 and the third came in 2017. This year we are 300 million in pursuance of the next billion. This means that we are in line with the projections made to earn 5 billion dollars from tourism within the period that we’ve indicated.”

The tourism minister also highlighted that the increase in earnings has had a great impact on the local economy, primarily to the small and medium tourism enterprises.

“Tourism is growing at a phenomenal rate but because the retention of the dollar is hovering at 30% we can say that there is more than US$1 billion in circulation across Jamaica coming directly from tourism. The impact of this is seen in the growth of the small and medium enterprises, who are more involved in the industry than ever before. The dollar is being retained because more and more of our people are supplying against the demands of the industry,” he said.

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