Jamaica has its most successful summer for tourism yet

Speaking at a summit on 13 September 2018, Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, celebrated the country’s most successful year for tourism. The Tourism Resilience Summit of the Americas, which took place at the University of the West Indies, found the Minister urging the nation to embrace tourism as a cultural asset that has benefited Jamaica financially over the past years.

The news of the country’s most successful summer follows The Jamaica Tourist Board’s announcement that they would be developing a new website to deal with the growth of the tourism sector. With the organisations focus shifting towards smart tourism, the launch of a new website aims to meet the demands of technology to deliver information and market destinations.

The positive year of tourism follows last year’s UNWTO Global Conference on Sustainable Tourism in Montego Bay, with the inaugural summit for The Tourism Resilience Summit of the Americas taking place as a product of the event. “Tourism is not a business, not a sector, but it is a culture. In order for us to build a culture of tourism, it must become a way of life for the Caribbean. This is how we are going to grow, as it is the essence of our economic being and any denial of that puts us in fantasy land”, the Minister said while speaking at the conference.

Jamaica had a record-breaking season, with most stopovers taking place from May to August than ever before, an increase of 6% when compared to the previous year. What’s more is that the UK market, which includes trips such as last minute singles holidays to Jamaica, has experienced a growth of 3%, which is only set to improve over the next couple of years.

“It definitely has been our best summer ever. We had 884,324 visitors compared to the 834,292 from the period May to August in 2017. These figures contributed to total visitor arrivals (May to August) of 1,312,494, which was a 4.4 percent increase over the same period last year,” Bartlett told the crowds at the event.

Pointing out that Jamaica’s tourism has been particularly vulnerable over the past 50 years, it was noted that it is also incredibly resilient and “bounces back quickly and grows”, which is fantastic news for the country.