Jamaica reports a record 4.3 million tourist arrivals in 2017

Jamaica reports a record 4.3 million tourist arrivals in 2017

By Claudia Gardner

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (JIS) — Provisional data from the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) show that a record 4.3 million tourists visited Jamaica in 2017, which, according to tourism minister, Edmund Bartlett, represents a 12.1 per cent increase over arrivals in 2016.    

“We broke the four million mark in December and by the end of (the month) we had gone to 4.3 million arrivals. This figure comprised 2,353,461 stopover arrivals and 1,946,780 cruise passengers, providing a revenue flow of approximately US$3 billion,” he said.        

The minister was speaking at the official opening of the Knutsford Express bus service depot at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay on Tuesday.

Bartlett said the historic tourism out-turns for 2017 were milestone achievements for Jamaica, noting that “it is the first time that… we brought more than 500,000 additional visitors in a single calendar year”.

Noting that Jamaica earned US$2.56 billion in 2016, he said last year’s revenue inflow indicates that “we have (generated) nearly US$500 million of additional earnings in one single year”.

Against this background, Bartlett praised the industry’s stakeholders, including entrepreneurs and workers, for their collective contribution to the exponential growth in visitor arrivals and earnings in 2017. He was also optimistic that this momentum will continue in 2018.

Meanwhile, the minister pointed out that new trends developing in tourism globally are resulting in an increasing number of travellers seeking “authentic experiences” when they visit destinations.

Bartlett contended that Jamaica is a prime destination for this emerging market, especially with the rapid rise of American online marketplace and hospitality service, Airbnb, which facilitates the ease of homeowners globally, leasing or renting their properties to tourists.

He advised that the 55,000 tourists visiting Jamaica in 2017 booked via Airbnb, up from 35,000 in 2016, “which that means that we have added over 20,000 new visitors with a different type of demand for experiences in our space”.

“These visitors are not necessarily staying in hotels. They are more likely to book via Airbnb. They want to immerse themselves in local culture – the food, music, people and communities – and I believe Jamaica is a natural attractor with its rich heritage,” Bartlett said.

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Comments

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On January 19, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    How ironic. Tourism may be affected.

    “MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (JIS) — Provisional data from the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) show that a record 4.3 million tourists visited Jamaica in 2017, which, according to tourism minister, Edmund Bartlett, represents a 12.1 per cent increase over arrivals in 2016.  ”

    compared to (just heard this on the news):

    STATE of EMERGENCY in MONTEGO BAY –

    TOURIST TOLD TO STAY IN HOTELS

    “Jamaica Defence Force moves in to quell ‘murder, extortion, general lawlessness’ in island’s main holiday gateway

    “Jamaica experiences twice as many murders in the average year as Britain, even though the UK has a population 20 times higher.
    The murder rate in St James parish, the district which includes Montego Bay, is twice as high as in any other parish; last year there were six killings a week on average. 
    The Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, has declared a State of Public Emergency, saying: “Murders have been escalating in the parish of St James.” 
    The Jamaica Gleaner reports Major Basil Jarrett of the Jamaica Defence Force as saying: “It is in response to the rampant criminality – the murder rate, the extortion, the general lawlessness in Montego Bay.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/jamaica-foreign-office-warning-uk-tourists-state-of-emergency-montego-bay-st-james-parish-murders-a8168051.html

    Then, just a week ago two Jamaican-Canadians were killed, seeming robbery motive, at their retirement home in Jca.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-seniors-killed-jamaica-1.4481370

    VNM

  • Peggy Chin  On October 15, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Visitors booking via Airbnb is a good sign for small businesses. That way the local economy will benefit more than when the visitors are in the large all-inclusive hotels. Money in many hands is better than money in the hands of a few.

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