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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has charged the Ministry of Tourism and other stakeholders in the sector to work to double visitor arrivals and revenue.
  • Mr. Holness noted that despite being a small country, Jamaica has a “very big footprint, presence, name and brand”, which must be fully leveraged to achieve greater levels of economic growth, job creation and prosperity.
  • Mr. Holness said tourism is poised to increase employment significantly within the next two years, pointing to the thousands of rooms that are slated to come on stream.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has charged the Ministry of Tourism and other stakeholders in the sector to work to double visitor arrivals and revenue.

Mr. Holness, who was addressing the post-World Travel Awards ceremony on September 18 at the Melia Braco Village in Trelawny, noted that tourism is one of the key pillars of Jamaica’s economy and the industry continues to demonstrate high levels of profitability and dependability.

Last year, the island welcomed 3.6 million stopover and cruise-ship visitors combined, bringing in revenues of US$2.5 billion. Some 1.2 billion people travel abroad each year, spending about US$1.3 trillion.

Mr. Holness noted that despite being a small country, Jamaica has a “very big footprint, presence, name and brand”, which must be fully leveraged to achieve greater levels of economic growth, job creation and prosperity.

“We have the people that are naturally friendly, we have a name that is known, and our brand is a household name around the world,” he noted.

“Globally, we have a footprint bigger than the shoes we wear and so the onus is on us now to capitalise and to get the people here and to deliver the service,” he added.

The Prime Minister said the Government sees tourism as a low-hanging fruit that offers the best chance for growth and employment.

“People are not just interested in coming in to invest in new hotels; they also want to come in and invest in attractions,” he pointed out.

“As this evolves, we will inevitably see a trickle-down effect where there will be other opportunities for sport tourism, opportunities for medical tourism, and opportunities for convention tourism… ecotourism,” he said.

Mr. Holness said tourism is poised to increase employment significantly within the next two years, pointing to the thousands of rooms that are slated to come on stream.

“When people are employed then they are economically independent, and that is the objective. We need the investors… the entrepreneurs with the big ideas. What we have here is second to none, and that is why we are so optimistic,” he said.