JIS News

Despite the challenges of the global economic crisis, Jamaica’s tourism sector continues to register growth, recording a 6.8 percent increase in stop over arrival figures for the fourth quarter, October to December, of 2010 when compared to the same period of 2009. Tourism Minister the Hon. Edmund Bartlett in making the disclosure noted that Jamaica’s performance in stop-over arrivals have been very good, adding that the figures for cruise arrivals are also encouraging with a 2.1 percent increase for the same quarter compared to 2009.
Minister Bartlett said “I am pleased to outline that preliminary figures for the fourth quarter of 2010 indicate that the sector saw growth in arrival figures both for stop-over visitors and cruise passengers. For Stop-over arrivals the quarter saw a 6.8 percent increase over 2009 with 444, 489 visitors arriving compared to 416, 130 in 2009. For Cruise Passengers there was a 2.1 percent increase for the quarter, over the same period for 2009 with 223, 307 passengers gracing our shores compared to the 218, 763 recorded for 2009.”
Minister Bartlett also revealed that “according to our provisional estimate there has been a 4.7 percent increase in stop-over arrivals for January to December, when compared to 2009 as 1, 916, 302 persons visited the island over the 1, 831, 097 recorded for 2009.” The Minister added that the country’s coffers benefitted tremendously from the increase in arrivals with just under US$2B being earned. He cited that “the performance has resulted in a 3.2 percent increase in gross foreign exchange earnings with 1, 986 billion dollars earned in 2010 over the 1,925 billion earned in 2009.”
The Tourism Minister said Jamaica’s 4th quarter arrivals figures have allowed players in the industry to remain optimistic that the tourism sector is poised for further growth in 2011. Minister Bartlett was addressing the signing of the agreement between the Ministry of Tourism and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) for the Community Based Tourism Policy. The overall objective of the Community-Based Tourism (CBT) Policy and Strategy is to develop a framework aimed at enhancing the policy and institutional capacity to develop community-based tourism as a sustainable growth sector in Jamaica.
In lauding the initiative Minister Bartlett emphasised that the development of Community Based Tourism will fuel further growth in the sector. He added that Community Based Tourism “will broaden the base of tourism ownership and will diversify the benefits and earnings to various groups of Jamaicans.”