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US$1.4 billion in Earnings Expected for 2022/23 Winter Tourist Season

Release Date: 
Monday, December 19, 2022 - 14:30

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica; December 16, 2022: Jamaica’s foreign exchange inflows remain on a growth trajectory for the first quarter of 2023 with an anticipated boost of US$1.4 billion from tourism earnings for the winter tourist season, which kicked off on December 15.

An elated Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett said projected earnings were based on 1.3 million air seats which have been secured for the period and the full recovery of cruise shipping. The positive outlook was painted by Minister Bartlett at an appreciation breakfast hosted by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) for various categories of workers at Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport.

Picking up on a full recovery from the COVID-19 fallout, the Tourism Minister noted: “This winter is going to be the best winter Jamaica has had with record arrivals for the season projected at this time to be 950,000 for stopovers and 524,000 for cruise. So, that makes it pretty close to 1.5 million visitors for the season; the largest number of visitors we’ve ever had.”

Also, he indicated: “For earnings, we’re looking at US$1.4 billion. In fact, closer to $1.5 billion and that again is a 36% increase on 2019 and significantly higher than the US$1.094 billion earned last year, which will make 2023 the strongest winter earnings that Jamaica has ever had. This augurs well for the country’s foreign exchange stability and growth as the NIR (net international reserves) is going to be in a healthy state.”

Minister Bartlett declared that “we’re back to normal and I want to really thank all our stakeholders for the enormous work that they have put into enabling this very strong growth-filled recovery.”

He told the airport workers: “All of this has happened because you have worked so hard, because you have been so committed that you carried the ball for us during the difficult time.”

Being assured that cruise recovery is definitely on for next year, combined with stopover arrivals, “it is going to take us into a 2023 ending that will be way ahead of 2019 so we will be recovering with growth and that is what we mean by saying that we want to recover stronger,” he stated.

Compared to last winter, Mr. Bartlett said winter 2022/23 should come out with a 29.6% increase in stopover arrivals. Concurrently, with cruise last winter, Jamaica had 146,700 passengers and for this winter “we are expecting a whopping 257% increase.” The overall picture for winter tourist season arrivals is that “last year we had 879,927 and this winter 23 we’re projecting 1.47 million visitors for the period, a massive 67.5% increase,” he added.

Comparatively, earnings stood at just over US$1 billion for last year while stopovers only should produce US$1.4 billion, during the winter period, a 33.4% increase. Cruise being down last year due to the pandemic, Jamaica earned only US$14 million but now expects to pull in US$51.9 million this year.