JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the tourism industry offers one of the best opportunities for social mobility and gainful employment.
  • The Minister said it is imperative that Jamaica continue to position itself as a first-choice destination, enabling it to get its fair share of the growing tourism pie.
  • The Minister noted that ‘Brand Caribbean’ continues to appeal to travellers, and that Jamaica, with its diverse culture and natural beauty, is positioned to take off like never before.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the tourism industry offers one of the best opportunities for social mobility and gainful employment.

Delivering the  keynote address at a Staff Awards Ceremony at the Bahia Principe Jamaica Resort in Discovery Bay, St. Ann, on July 19, Mr. Bartlett pointed out that the accommodation subsector employs 89,000 people directly, while accounting for 250,000 in indirect employment or just a little under a quarter of the employment in Jamaica today.

“This shows that one in every four persons employed in Jamaica is actively involved in the hospitality subsector,” the Minister noted.

He pointed out that tourism is also the largest industry globally, employing over 960 million people and contributing some US$1.3 trillion to the economies of the world, adding that some 1.2 billion tourists traverse planet Earth every year.

The Minister said it is imperative that Jamaica continue to position itself as a first-choice destination, enabling it to get its fair share of the growing tourism pie.

He cited a recent report by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) where the Caribbean in 2015 experienced its sixth consecutive year of growth, having a seven per cent increase in arrivals or 28.7 million visitors.

The report, he added, also showed that spending was up by 4.2 per cent to $30 billion, while intra-Caribbean travel recorded its best performance since the CTO started keeping records.

“Traffic from the Caribbean market accounted for six per cent of total arrivals into the region, with 1.7 million visits among the various states, an increase of 11.4 per cent over the previous year,” Mr. Bartlett said.

He said that the United States, the Caribbean’s primary market, accounted for about 50 per cent of arrivals and grew by an impressive 6.3 per cent to 14.3 million visits. Canada grew by 4.5 per cent to 3.4 million visits; Europe accounted for 5.2 million visits, a 4.2 per cent jump over the previous year, and South America continued its rapid growth, generating 2.1 million visitors, an 18.3 per cent jump over 2014.

The Minister noted that ‘Brand Caribbean’ continues to appeal to travellers, and that Jamaica, with its diverse culture and natural beauty, is positioned to take off like never before.