Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has disclosed that Jamaica has earned just over US$250 million since the island’s borders reopened in June.
“Preliminary figures from the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) indicate that since reopening on June 15, we have recorded a little over 200,000 stopover arrivals to the country, [with] June to September earnings amounted to just over US$250 million,” Mr. Bartlett said.
He was addressing the ground breaking ceremony for the rebranding of The Shoppes at Rose Hall in Montego Bay, St. James on Thursday (October 29).
Mr. Bartlett noted that despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, flight bookings to the island continue to increase, adding that the Ministry is cautiously optimistic that the island will see a 40 percent increase in visitor arrivals during the 2020/2021 winter season, when compared to the preceding period, before the downturn in the sector.
“The JTB is maintaining strong engagement with tour operators and airline companies to drive bookings for the winter, and already seat support out of key markets include the United States, 567,427 seats; Canada, 166,032 seats; United Kingdom, 1,801 seats and Continental Europe, 45,311 seats,” Mr. Bartlett said.
Meanwhile, the Minister also extended thanks to Jamaicans on the island and in the diaspora for contributing to the “encouraging” occupancy levels at the island’s resorts.
Jamaica closed its borders to incoming passengers in March to limit the spread of COVID – 19.
The Shoppes at Rose Hall, which was recently acquired by Chandiram Limited, is being rebranded to reflect a tourism Linkages Centre of Excellence, which is aimed at showcasing the best of the island.
The first phase of the rebranded facility is expected to be completed in time for the 2020/2021 winter tourism season, while full completion of the project is slated for next year.