TORONTO — Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says the popular destination has made an almost complete recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jamaica was an early frontrunner in reopening during the pandemic, welcoming back visitors starting in June 2020, when few other destinations were making the same move. Jamaica’s well-thought out reopening plans included its COVID-19 Resilient Corridor, starting with the coastline from Negril to Port Antonio.
Now, more than two years later, tourism to Jamaica is thriving and back to 90% of pre-pandemic numbers, says Minister Bartlett. He shared the latest stats during a meeting last week with members of a special delegation from the Republic of Namibia, led by the African nation’s Minister in the Presidency, Christine || Hoebes.
“The good news is that Jamaica has now recovered 90% from the COVID-19 pandemic in the tourism sector,” said Minister Bartlett. He added that Jamaica’s recovery in terms of arrivals this year “is likely to be well over 3 million, and we are also expecting our earnings will be just about $100 million, or so, below our best earnings in 2019 of $3.7 billion.”
In June 2022 Jamaica achieved another major milestone in its road to recovery: its one millionth stopover arrival for the year.
Minister Bartlett says Jamaica’s main source markets, including Canada, are also rebounding strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK is even pacing ahead of 2019 figures, by 6%. The U.S. has also come back, he said. Canada is making a strong showing, although Canada reopened outbound tourism much later than other markets. In May 2022, visitation from Canada to Jamaica was up 4,360%, to 22,302 arrivals. “Progress is being made,” he said.
Minister Bartlett was visiting Namibia in part to confirm the establishment of a satellite centre of the Jamaica-based, Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) in the coming months.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence. Click here for a look at how Jamaica is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee here in Canada. Plus, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has launched a special incentive for Canadian travel advisors; click here for more details.