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KINGSTON, Jamaica; November 27, 2019: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has announced that preliminary figures from the Jamaica Tourist Board indicate that the island has earned US$3.1 billion to date. The data also indicates that from January to October 2019, Jamaica welcomed 3.4 million visitors to the island.
“We are very proud to announce, that we have hit the US$3.1 billion mark for earnings. We had already broken the 3 million mark for arrivals, so we are on track to surpass our target,” said the Minister.
He added that,” December is usually a strong month for us [Jamaica] and it begins the high season when the rates are higher. In all probability we will more than likely make our US$3.7 billion projection for this year and with a little luck we might be on the edge for US$4 billion.”
The Minister noted that this puts the island on track to surpass projections of the Tourism Ministry’s 5x5x5 growth strategy, which when proposed in 2016 was targeting increasing visitor arrivals to five million in five years and earning US$5 billion.
The strategy is utilising the five tourism pillars, which includes tapping into new markets, developing new products, promoting investments, building new partnerships and developing human capital.
“The market diversification programme that the Ministry has embarked on over the last three years, based on our 5x5x5 strategy, is going apace. We targeted South America as one of the major new frontiers that we are going to spend some time on and get some good returns.
“Already the returns are coming because we are up 23% in South America which is really strong. We have also been able to get 11 flights a week from COPA coming out of Panama for Kingston and Montego Bay,” said the Minister.
He added that he would be leading a small team over the weekend in Lima, to inaugurate the first direct flight from the destination to Montego Bay, Jamaica, by LATAM Airlines. The flight, which arrives on Monday, will begin a three-rotation programme by LATAM into Montego Bay.
The Minister made these announcements earlier today during a Tourism Working Group (TWG) Meeting hosted at his New Kingston Office.
The TWG was developed to assess various issues in Jamaica’s rapidly growing tourism sector and is headed by Prominent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) partner, Wilfred Baghaloo.