by Mia Taylor
on April 20, 2023 Last updated: 1:40 PM ET, Thu April 20, 2023
Jamaica experienced its biggest and best winter tourism season in history this year and the island is on track for a continued travel industry boom for the foreseeable future.Between January and March of 2023, Jamaica recorded 1.18 million visitors, Jamaica’s minister of tourism Edmund Bartlett said recently, while opening Jamaica’s Sectoral Debate in parliament. The visitor levels for early 2023 represent growth of 94.4 percent over the same period in 2022.
All of those visitors triggered record earnings of $1.15 billion, which is 46.4 percent higher than the same period a year earlier, when earnings were $786.8 million. Additional highlights of Bartlett’s comments include:
- Arrivals in Jamaica were up by 117 percent during 2022
- Earnings for 2022 were also up year-over-year by 71.4 percent compared to 202
- Jamaica welcomed 3.3 million visitors in last year and the industry generated $3.7 billion
Jamaica gained significant post-outbreak momentum in 2022, when U.S. travel to the island surged. The Caribbean destination achieved its best-ever summer season in terms of traveler arrivals in 2022. The projections for 2024 for the island are equally impressive. Jamaica expects its tourism industry to generate about $4.1 billion next year.“If there was ever an industry that has the potential to transform our nation, our communities and the lives and livelihoods of the Jamaican people for the better, it is tourism,” Bartlett told Parliament, according to Breaking Travel News.
Jamaica’s minister of tourism Edmund Bartlett (Photo Credit: Ministry of Tourism, Jamaica)Thanks to the bustling tourism industry, Jamaica’s real gross domestic product (GDP) for the economy is projected to grow by 3 percent to 5 percent from January through March 2023, compared to the same time last year. The growth is expected to be led by strong performances among hotels and restaurants.“Never before in the history of Jamaica has tourism made such a great contribution to the national economy and we are willing to contribute to that process and to make even greater contributions,” Bartlett said “Jamaicans at all levels of society can enjoy a bigger slice of the tourism pie.”
There has also been a great deal of investment in the island’s tourism industry in recent years. Over the last five years, tourism investment made up 20 percent of the island’s total foreign direct investments. Looking forward, over the next five to 10 years, there are several upcoming investment projects on the horizon that Bartlett said will add 15,000 to 20,000 new rooms in Jamaica. The total value of these investment projects is between $4 billion to $5 billion.“Tourism will be the biggest driver of economic growth and prosperity in Jamaica for years to come,” Bartlett said.For the latest travel news, updates and deals, subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter here.
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Appeared first on: travelpulse.com