Within the first three days of Jamaica’s current winter season, the destination welcomed more than 40,000 visitors, the country’s best performance ever according to Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett.
“This start of the 2022/23 winter tourist season is the strongest in the history of Jamaica. We were able to welcome over the weekend, from December 15 to 18 a total of 42,000 visitors. That includes 37,000 stopover and 5,000 cruise visitors,” he outlined.
“Over 11,000 stopover visitors travelled to Montego Bay on Saturday, on some 61 flights, a record for the sector [which] further underscores the robust post-pandemic recovery that the tourism industry continues to enjoy,” Bartlett added.
He expressed satisfaction that the country’s tourism sector has recovered and the market is “responding strongly to Jamaica”.
“The forward bookings for the rest of the season are equally strong. We know that the market understands Jamaica and we know that the market appreciates the quality of the product and the excellence of the experience that we offer,” the minister said.
The strong inflow of visitors, he stressed, is the fruit of painstaking work on the part of tourism stakeholders.
“Overall, the arrival figures over the weekend were amazing and [are] evidence of the hard work that the Ministry of Tourism, its public bodies and tourism partners have put into marketing Destination Jamaica. The season is shaping up to be the best winter Jamaica has ever had, with record arrivals for the period,” he expressed.
The minister has indicated that Jamaica is set to secure a record US$1.4 billion in tourism earnings for the winter tourist season. The projected earnings were based on 1.3 million air seats which have been secured for the period and the full recovery of cruise shipping.
“Over 80 per cent of the cruise passengers from Carnival Sunrise, which docked in St Ann on December 15, disembarked. The ship had some 3,000 passengers and 1,200 crew and they were all over Ocho Rios and were busy spending and enjoying our tourism offerings. The same thing has occurred as passengers disembark ships that have docked in Falmouth, including Royal Caribbean Cruise vessels,” said Bartlett.
Noting that the arrival figures were also boosted by the major Burna Boy concert held in Kingston over the weekend, he underscored that the island remains very appealing to visitors.
“Jamaica remains top of mind among persons in the travel market and our efforts to enhance our tourism product continue to bear fruit. We continue to do everything that we can to enhance the safety, security and seamlessness of our destination,” Bartlett said.
“We are therefore looking forward to a very powerfully positioned winter season that will enable a strong year for the economy of Jamaica,” he added.