Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has reported that the high stopover visitor arrivals and earnings for December are unprecedented in the island’s tourism history.
“This December is going to be the biggest December in the history of Jamaica for stopover arrivals and earnings,” the tourism minister announced.
Speaking to reporters in Montego Bay last week, Bartlett noted that up to December 21, the statistics showed that stopover arrivals grew by nearly nine per cent but projected that the current momentum should push up the figures further by the end of the month.
He added that initially there was scepticism that the growth in stopover arrivals this December could eclipse last year’s figure.
“We initially thought this December would be a little soft because December traditionally is a big month and last December was a huge month, but we are now growing at 8.8 per cent so far and that is to the 21st [of December] and the big week of Christmas is now happening and then another big week for the new years,” Bartlett stated.
He pointed out that the growth in stopover arrivals will inevitably push the earnings for the year over the US$3.7 billion projection.
Bartlett noted that Jamaica, which is recording the fastest growing stopover arrivals in the Caribbean, has almost doubled tourism earnings since the Andrew Holness-led Jamaica Labour Party formed the Administration in 2016.