At a destination press briefing held at the 41st CHTA-Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Barbados, Jamaica's Minister of Tourism the Hon. Edmund Bartlett revealed that his country had surpassed 1 million visitor arrivals year-to-date for 2023, reaching the milestone nearly a month earlier than in 2022.
He updated the attending media about the robust tourism arrivals in Jamaica, investments, and work to build resilience for the industry on the island and throughout the world.
Minister Bartlett said that from January through December 2022 Jamaica had welcomed "2,478,386 stopover arrivals, a 69.2% increase over 2021 and nearly a full recovery to 2019 highs."
“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. Projectingahead for 2023 through 2025, we expect to attract more than 3.8 million visitors in 2023 andgrow to more than 5 million visitors in 2025.”
Minister Bartlett added that to keep the growth on an upward trajectory, they continued to build out new air services "with new flights this year from Chicago, Denver, St Louis, Dallas, Kansas City, and London Gatwick."
They were also expanding and modernizing Sangster International Airport (Montego Bay) and had ~8000 new hotel rooms slated for construction over the next 2 to 5 years.
“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.”
Minister Bartlett noted that Jamaica was leveraging key pillars for tourism that showcased the destination's unique culture and heritage while simultaneously addressing the desire of today's traveler "to experience more than just sun, sea and sand." He emphasized the need "to carefully manage the tourism industry through resilience building" where it could continually adapt to issues that might arise and put plans in place to protect it from potential future shocks.