Tourism Is Booming In Jamaica

The sound you hear is Jamaica’s tourism industry celebrating, as business is booming. In 2022, the island welcomed over 3.3 million visitors – a 117% increase over 2021. Gross foreign exchange earnings for the year totalled over USD $3.6 billion, representing a 71.4% increase as compared to 2021 and on par with 2019 levels.

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said that: “The fact that Jamaica continues to outpace visitor arrivals and earnings projections is a testament to the resilience and unwavering appeal of the island’s tourism product as well as the excellent relationships we enjoy with our travel industry partners.”

Minister Bartlett continued: “Monthly stopover arrivals began to surpass 2019 figures as of June 2022 and it is expected that 2023 will show a full recovery in our annual figures, ahead of previous estimates that full recovery would occur in 2024.”

He noted as well that: “Before even completing the first six months of this year, we have already received 2 million visitors from our stopover and cruise arrivals. This translates into record earnings of US $2 billion, a whopping 18% above the 2019 earnings for the same time period. It should be no surprise then that Jamaica is bracing for the best summer tourist season ever.”

The U.S. remains Jamaica’s top source market for visitor arrivals, representing approximately 75% of the island’s total arrivals. For the full year 2023, it is expected that Jamaica will show a full recovery in its annual figures with projections of 3.9 million visitors and foreign exchange earnings of USD $4.3 billion, ahead of previous estimates for full recovery in 2024.

Looking ahead to summer 2023, bookings to Jamaica show a 33% increase over the same period in 2019 per ForwardKeys Air Ticket Data as of April 5, putting the destination on track for a record-breaking summer season. For the upcoming summer travel season, the U.S. represents 1.2 million of the 1.4 million airline seats that have been secured for the period, representing a 16% increase over the island’s previous best, recorded in 2019.

Donovan White, Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board, pointed out that: “2022 turned out to be quite a successful year for us in terms of recovering arrivals and earnings, due in part to our integrated marketing push throughout the U.S. With 2023 already posting robust numbers, we are very optimistic about the outlook for growth this year and beyond.”

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