Jamaica’s tourism industry has earned US$1.46 billion during the first six months of 2017 to record an impressive 7.5 percent increase over the corresponding period in 2016.
Additionally, the country recorded 2,165,330 visitors up to the end of June this year, which was a 3.9 percent higher than the corresponding period in 2016. These included 1,186,646 stopover visitors and 978, 684 cruise ship passengers.
This was disclosed by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett during a media briefing at Jamaica House recently.
He said there was a record of 104,098 stopover visitors arrived during the first two weeks of July, which represented a “massive” 14.9 percent increase over the same period last year.
The minister said this was ahead of government’s projected growth targets aimed at increasing visitor arrivals to five million and generating US$5 billion in five years.
Jamaica recorded 3.84 million visitors last year, which was a four percent increase over that of 2015. Last year’s arrivals included 2.2 million stop over visitors and 1.66 million cruise ship passengers.
Bartlett said the industry’s growth averaged between eight and 11 percent for the first three months of the 2017 / 2018 fiscal year, from April to June.
He said based on the support anticipated for upcoming events such as the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference in Kingston and Reggae Sunfest in Montego Bay, growth for the overall four-month period between April and July will average over 10 percent.