The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is projecting that the island will welcome approximately 800,000 visitors for the 2022 summer period (late June to the end of August) with destination earnings exceeding US$1.1 billion.
Director of Tourism, Donovan White, said the figures, respectively, represent 85 per cent of the pre-pandemic (2019) arrival levels, and more than 90 per cent in revenues for that year’s summer period.
“That will feed into our projections… at 2.2 million tourists for calendar year 2022,” he said.
“What is interesting about this is that… we have been able to re-forecast full recovery to September 2023, versus the first quarter of 2024 and that is a good thing,” he pointed out, attributing the rebound of the industry to the hard work by the various stakeholders and diversifying markets to attract more visitors to the island.
Mr. White said another important component of the recovery process is longer stay by tourists.
“Our length of stays has now moved from 8 1/2 nights to 9.2 nights, which is about a nine per cent increase, and we have also seen the spend per visitor, per day, increase from US$169 to about US$182,” he indicated.
“What that means for Jamaica and our recovery is that our ability to have destination revenues outpace the recovery of visitors is a real fact and it is part of why we are so extremely bullish about bringing forward the recovery faster than planned,” Mr. White noted.
“We have spent [a lot of time] in the marketplace ensuring that we are not only tapping into [traditional markets] but we are also tapping into new marketplaces and finding new partners to work with us,” he added.
The Director of Tourism was addressing the official ceremony to welcome the arrival of the inaugural flight from Quality Corporate Aircraft Services (QCAS) Aero, out of Fort Lauderdale, to the Ian Fleming International Airport, St. Mary, on Wednesday (June 22).
The Miami-based QCAS Aero will operate an exclusive, premium nonstop flight to St. Mary from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.