JIS News

The Ministry of Tourism is seeking to lift the spending rate of visitors to the island from the current rate of US$100 per visitor to at least US$150 in the next three years.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, during a press briefing held at the Jamaica Tourist Board’s conference room yesterday (Oct. 25). “If we do that even at our current 2 million stopover arrivals, we will achieve $3 billion in earnings. And of course when we go to our projected figure of 5 million (visitors) you will be talking about US$7.5 billion,” Mr. Bartlett said, noting that this will be a significant contributor to the wealth of the country. “At that point, you begin to feel the impact and the effect of tourism as it permeates the economy and provides jobs, goods and services and provides also the basis for the wellbeing of the people of this country,” he added. According to the Tourism Minister, “attractions are going to be the avenue through which we provide the critical opportunity for higher levels of expenditure on the part of the visitor.”
Cruise tourism, he said, is also going to be critical in this regard “and we are looking at moving our current levels of 1.3 million to 2 million within the next three years.”
Equally concerning to the Minister is the low rate of spending by the cruise ship visitors to the island.
“A low $83 per head is what we get, while our neighbours are getting some $250 and in case of the United States Virgin Islands, up to $450. But we are not getting that level of spending because the attractions are not there and the quality shopping, which we need (isn’t there) and shopping is a large item of expenditure for the cruise visitor,” he pointed out.
In the meantime, Mr. Bartlett informed that the Ministry is very upbeat about the upcoming winter tourist season saying that forward bookings “have been quite good.” “We are seeing a very good winter indeed and in anticipation of this, we are going to make the preparations for a good winter,” he stated.

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