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Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the 2022/2023 winter tourist season promises to be “a very strong winter of recovery” with some 1.3 million airline seats to the island already secured.
“You could be looking at definitely the strongest winter since recent times for us,” Minister Bartlett said in an interview with JIS News.
He pointed out that just over 930,000 of the seats secured are from the United States (US) market alone.
The 2022/2023 Winter Tourist Season officially starts December 15.
Minister Bartlett pointed out that the strength of the season is not only in terms of the number of seats but also earnings, noting that the country’s Average Daily Rates (ADRs) have increased by some 20 per cent.
“What this does for Jamaica is to create strong demand for more goods and services to be provided by our local stakeholders… because the way forward has to be Jamaica owning the supply side of the economic equation,” the Minister said.
He emphasised that building the capacity of local entrepreneurs to supply the demand visitors bring will result in greater retention of the tourism dollar.
Minister Bartlett indicated that the Caribbean is showing an increase in the number of available airline seats to Jamaica, especially with the recent addition of the Dominican Republic’s flagship, Arajet Airlines.
“Regional tourism is picking up back, and that’s a good sign for us. We have a 16 per cent increase in the seats from the Caribbean,” the Tourism Minister said, noting that the Latin America market has not come back fully since the COVID-19 pandemic.