Bartlett sees new record for July tourist arrivals

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says that this month’s tourism visitor arrival figures will set a new record for the month of July.

Bartlett told a media briefing at his ministry in New Kingston, yesterday, this month’s figures have already surpassed last year’s 250,000 visitors and climbing.

He said he is also expecting the total to reach three million visitors later this week, and earnings are inching towards $2.5 billion, which he describes as “phenomenal”.

“This is just the middle of year and we are seeing growth on both sides, both in terms of arrivals and in terms of earnings,” he stated.

“So this is telling you that the growth of the industry is continuing apace, and we have to make sure that we keep it in that immaculate condition at all times,” he added.

He noted that 42 per cent of the arrivals are repeat, which would make Jamaica the “the most desired destination around”, as repeat visitors are a considerable input into the desired destination category.

“This is a real good testimony that we are getting and we need to ensure that it continues,” the minister said.

Last year 4.3 million tourists visited Jamaica, an increase of approximately 42,400 relative to 2017. The main contributors being the growth of stop-over visitors, which outweighed a decrease in cruise passengers for the first half of the year.

Increased visitor arrivals were recorded for all months, except April, while declines were recorded for three months of the latter part of the year.

Stop over increased by 5.1 per cent to 2.4 million, due mainly to a higher number of arrivals from the island’s main source market, the United States. The market share of stopover visitors for January to May 2019 was as follows: USA 65.9 per cent; Canada 17.8 per cent; UK 7.8 per cent; Continental Europe 4.2 per cent, the Caribbean 2.3 per cent; and the others, including Latin America and Asia 2 per cent.