“We are well on our way to achieving our 2022 projections of total visitor arrivals of 3.2 million and total revenue of US$3.3 billion, well before 2024, we will have 4.5 million visitors,” said Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett in highlighting the achievements of the sector.
With Tourism being the largest income earner for Jamaica, the Government continues to spearhead a number of initiatives to support this booming industry.
Tourism Innovation Incubator
The innovation-based tourism incubator was launched in September 2022 with the objective of generating new ideas and providing funding. This programme is being led by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), as an “all-of-government activity”, with partner, the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.
Tourism Future Proof Strategy
This plan was announced in July 2022 and is aimed at improving the resilience of the island’s tourism sector. This strategy has three major components – training, finance and marketing, with an overall objective of building business capacity, increasing access to funding and marketing expertise. Several entities such as TEF, Export-Import Bank of Jamaica (EXIM Bank), Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) and other private organisations have partnered to execute this strategy.
The Government provided a welcome reprieve to workers in the hospitality industry during the pandemic. The COVID-19 Tourism Grant of $1.2 billion is one component of the COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) Programme. This grant assisted companies and other associated industries that were affected by the economic fallout from the pandemic. Additionally, several categories of tourism workers who applied for other grants under the CARE Programme, received payments.
Hospitality and Tourism Management Programme (HTMP)
Launched in 2018 as a joint initiative between the Ministries of Tourism, and Education and Youth, the Hospitality and Tourism Management Programme (HTMP) facilitates two years of training, free of cost, for students in grades 11, 12 and 13, enabling them to gain entry-level certification for jobs in the industry. So far, some $100 million has been spent under this initiative.
Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF)
Since its inception in 2005, this initiative, through regional, global, public and private partnership has supported various tourism projects in order to boost the sector. Since 2018, $4.9 billion has been invested in tourism ventures.
Hotel and Other Infrastructural Development
The Government, through various partnerships has facilitated the development of roadways, parks and beaches which have made the island more attractive to tourists, therefore increasing arrivals, according to the Ministry of Tourism. For example, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay which were “sleepy fishing villages” 60 years ago, have become significant tourist destinations and major sources of employment and revenue. Additionally, stemming from the major hotel developments of the late 1990s into the 2000s, there are currently more than 35,000 hotels, villas and condominiums, which accommodate visitors from around the world.
World Tourism Day and Tourism Week are celebrated annually in the month of September to recognise tourism’s key role in the nation’s development.
For additional information, contact:
Ministry of Tourism
64 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5
Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @tourismja
Tourism Enhancement Fund
60 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5
Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @tefjamaica