Bartlett: Visitor arrival should hit 4.4-million mark by year end

Observer writer

Saturday, December 16, 2017

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has said that by the end of the year Jamaica would welcome approximately 2.3 million stopover and 2.1 cruise visitors, pushing the tally to record 4.4 million visitors to the island in a year.

“What that means is that nearly 500,000 additional visitors have come to Jamaica for the year. And that is a record of all records we never had in any year in tourism,” Bartlett said yesterday.

Bartlett has also disclosed that even though the country's airspace was closed in September, due to a lightning strike that affected the radar, the month ended with a 10.9 per cent growth.

“The truth is that we have been experiencing record arrival since April. In April, we had roughly two per cent and we have maintain an average of double-digit growth for every month since,” he said.

Bartlett was speaking at at the Sangster International Airport here, where the country welcomed its four millionth visitor to the island for 2017 — Jill Bell.

Bell and her husband Steve were welcomed by the tourism minister and other officials, and had their names entered into the tourism book of records on their 25th visit to the island. The couple also won a vacation courtesy of Sandals Resort International.

The four million tourists to the island comprised 1.9 million cruise visitors and 2.1 million stopover.

The minister has also disclosed that the country earned close to $3 billion from the four million visitors to the island. He said this represented an 11.7 per cent increase in earnings and 11 per cent increase in arrivals over last year.

A breakdown of the country's stopover arrivals market performances has shown that visitors from the United States went up 6.2 per cent; Canada up 8.2 per cent; United Kingdom up 6.9 per cent; continental Europe up by 22.3 per cent; and Latin America up by 15.3 per cent.




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