Tourism market optimism grows
Tourism’s recovery from the pandemic is slow but its operators are looking towards an uptick in business.
Bookings in the summer months have reached 750,000 airline seats so far, which represents a rise over last year, said Minster of Tourism Edmund Bartlett; while Jamaica’s largest hotel chain, Sandals Resorts International, expects hotel occupancy of 65 to 80 per cent in June and July, according to Executive Chairman Adam Stewart.
At a virtual forum on tourism hosted by Mayberry Investments Limited, sector interests were buoyed by both the uptick in travel statistics and the roll-out of vaccine programmes that are expected to restore confidence in travel, with particular interest on developments in the United State, Jamaica’s top source market for tourists.
“Vaccines have created some momentum now; one-third of Americans have taken it,” said Ian Dear, CEO of food service companies Margaritaville Caribbean and Express Catering Limited. “There is a huge pent-up demand and people are just dying to have a good time to get back to normality as quickly as possible,” he said.