Jamaica Welcomes More Visitors than the Population

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says Jamaica has been welcoming more visitors than the population, confirming the country’s status as one of the elite destinations in the Caribbean.
  • The Minister informed that currently, there are 2,500 new hotel rooms under construction, adding that never in the history of the country have so many rooms being built simultaneously.
  • The Minister pointed out that with all the new rooms coming on stream, there will be over 10,000 jobs that will be available and he is urging Jamaicans to get themselves certified to meet the demand.

Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says Jamaica has been welcoming more visitors than the population, confirming the country’s status as one of the elite destinations in the Caribbean.

The Minister told JIS News that for the past two years the country has been receiving 2 million stopover visitors and 1.5 million from the cruise ships annually, more than the population of 2.5 million.

“Bringing in more people than our current population is no ordinary feat…and we are not done as yet,” Dr. McNeill said.

The Minister informed that currently, there are 2,500 new hotel rooms under construction, adding that never in the history of the country have so many rooms being built simultaneously.

He noted that in addition to the current boom, there are about 7,000 more rooms that are in the pipeline, including 4,000 to be built in North West St. Ann.

Dr. McNeill said his mantra as Minister of Tourism has always been about what is in the best interest of the Jamaican people and that every effort will be made to ensure that many Jamaicans are employed during the construction phase of the new rooms that are coming on stream.

The Minister pointed out that with all the new rooms coming on stream, there will be over 10,000 jobs that will be available and he is urging Jamaicans to get themselves certified to meet the demand.

“This is why I have met with Minister (of Education), Hon. Rev.  Ronald Thwaites, to put together a training programme where our workers can take the proper courses to get certified and position themselves to capitalize on the opportunities that will soon be coming their way. I have met with the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and have discussed ways where we can even subsidize some of these programmes,” he said.

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