MONTEGO BAY — Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett is excited over record growth in tourism earnings and arrivals in the first half of the year in spite of the imposition of a state of emergency in St James since January.
“To come out of a state of emergency and grow in the way that we have is phenomenal achievement for any country and I am proud to be Minister of Tourism today,” Tourism Minister Bartlett said.
For the period January to June 2018, Jamaica recorded more than 1,253,236 million in stopover arrivals and 1,025,782 in cruise arrivals. This means over 100,000 more tourists for the period.
Over the same period the sector brought in US$1.556 billion in foreign exchange earnings which represents an increase of 7.3 per cent. Stopover arrivals accounted for US$1.459 million in earnings up 7.2 per cent and cruise US$100.6 million, an increase of 9.4 per cent.
But Bartlett was particularly elated over the record earnings, arguing that it is outgrowing arrivals.
“In fact, we are more excited about the earnings because that’s where the rubber hits the road, so to speak. That over the same period for the first half of the year we earned $1.559 billion (which is) 7.6 per cent increase over last year and that’s really phenomenal. We feel excited about it because it is showing us growing ahead of our arrivals,” Bartlett said.
“And that is probably a unique feature for Jamaica because it is the practice in tourism that the arrivals always outpace the growth in revenue. But for Jamaica our revenue is outpacing our growth in arrival.”