Jamaica remains on track to have a record year in tourism as the island continues to register growth of over 5 per cent for both tourism earnings and visitor arrivals.
From January to October 2016, Jamaica recorded earnings of US$2.06 billion, which represents an increase of 5.7 per cent over the amount earned for the same period last year, the Ministry of Tourism yesterday reported.
The island also registered an increase of 5.1 per cent in visitor arrivals over the same period last year, with 3,100,235 visitors in total, the ministry said in a release. Growth in both arrivals and earnings came despite Jamaica suffering a loss of over 8,000 visitors during the passage of Hurricane Matthew.
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said: “The latest figures from the Jamaica Tourist Board are truly proof of the strength of Jamaica’s tourism product. We have consistently recorded growth throughout the year, though over 8,000 potential visitors cancelled their trips due to the passage of Hurricane Matthew in October”.
During the first 10 months of 2016, stopover arrivals also increased by 2.3 percent over the same period last year, with 1,786,394 visitors, while cruise arrivals increased by 9.1 per cent over the same period in 2015, totaling 1,313,841 cruise passengers, according to the release.
“Our arrival figures and tourism earnings, from January and October of this year are very positive and an indicator of the considerable impact tourism is having on the growth agenda. Our tourism earnings continue to outpace our arrivals, which is quite significant. It is clear, that we remain on track to have a record year in tourism,” said Bartlett.
Latin America and Europe were Jamaica’s strongest markets during the period January to October. Stopover arrivals from the Latin American market were up by 26.6 per cent over the same period last year, with 2,803 visitors. Arrivals out of Europe increased by 10.5 per cent, over the same period for 2015 with a total of 21,870 stopover arrivals, the ministry reported.