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LONDON, United Kingdom; November 07, 2016: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, today (November 07, 2016) disclosed that Jamaica’s tourism sector has registered an increase of over 5 per cent in both visitor arrivals and gross foreign exchange earnings for the first nine months of 2016.
Speaking from the World Travel Market in London, the Minister said that “the latest figures from the Jamaica Tourist Board indicate that for the period January to September 2016, total arrivals, both stopover and cruise, increased by 5.4 per cent, with 2,876,220 recorded visitors when compared to the same period last year.”
The United States market contributed to the bulk of the growth, up 7.6 per cent numbering 75,193 additional visitors over the same period last year. However, it was the increase from Canada that the Minister was most pleased with, noting arrivals from that country are now up by 7.2 per cent, numbering 17,732 additional visitors over the same period last year. This is in stark contrast to the 6.8 per cent decline in arrivals from Canada last year and a further 9.8 per cent decline from that market during the period of January to June of this year.
“In my first stint as Minister of Tourism, we grew the Canadian market by 100 per cent. We started with some 163,000 visitors from Canada and when our term ended we recorded approximately 370,000 visitors. However, over the years there was a noticeable decline. So, we had to strengthen our marketing efforts in this important market and I am pleased to announce that it has produced positive results,” Minister Bartlett emphasized.
He noted that increase in arrivals has also resulted in a 5.9 per cent rise in gross foreign exchange earnings.
“I am happy to share that we recorded earnings of approximately US$1.9 billion, up from a provisional estimate of US$1.8 billion for the same period last year. This is very unique, as it is rare for earnings to be higher than the arrival figures,” the Minister added.
The Minister, who is accompanied by the Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), John Lynch, and the Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook, has been meeting with key stakeholders and members of the Diaspora while attending the World Travel Market, which runs from November 7-9, 2016.
The World Travel Market is the leading global event for the travel industry to meet industry professionals and conduct business deals. Through its industry networks, unrivalled global reach, WTM London creates personal and business opportunities, providing customers with quality contacts, content and communities. It is expected to attract some 50,000 patrons from 182 countries across the globe.
Minister Bartlett is expected to return to the island on November 8, 2016.