Preliminary figures from the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) show that since the June 15 reopening of the borders to international travellers, some 317,701 visitors arrived in the island up to December 14, generating more than US$450 million in earnings.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett made the disclosure during the sitting of the House of Representatives yesterday.
“We are cautiously optimistic that we will see a 40 per cent increase in arrivals over the winter season, when compared to the preceding periods of massive downturn. This augurs well for the 70 per cent of our furloughed tourism workers who are still off the job,” Bartlett said.
He noted that as a sector, stakeholders have been working together tirelessly from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to minimise its impact here in Jamaica and to safeguard the tourism industry.
“I am pleased to say this united effort is paying off handsomely as we take bold and decisive steps to safeguard tourism workers, visitors and residents. I am confident that the tourism sector will rebound as it has done many times before,” Bartlett said.
He reminded Parliament that tourism has been the most resilient sector of the national economy over the past 30 years, having expanded by 36 per cent against total cumulative economic growth of 10 per cent.