Published on : Wednesday, November 29, 2017
According to a regional tourism official, at the United Nations World Tourism Organization Global Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the Caribbean saw a million more tourist in the first half of 2017 then the same period last year.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said that the data compiled for the first six months of 2017 revealed that the region welcomed 16.6 million international tourists or 800,000 more than during the same period of 2016, showing a growth rate of 5.2 percent.
The number is expected to increase as the region will face a surge in arrival.
The Jamaica’s tourism performance so far has been impressive than that of the wider region and it is expected that last year’s historic growth rate of 4% or 3.84 million visitors in total will be surpassed Bartlett said.
The regional tourism sector’s performance was lauded for being resilient and determined after suffering the devastating infrastructural destruction from hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Caribbean tourism grew at a record pace despite multi-faceted challenges in the region.
Amid volatility, uncertainty in main source markets like the USA due to Brexit, the US presidential elections and the terror attacks in Brussels and European cities the tourism sector was able to overcome the early projections of downturn in global tourism receipts for 2016 and it grew at an unprecedented rate of 4.2 percent in 2016.
St. Martin, Anguilla, Dominica, Barbuda, St. Barts, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico are among the most tourism –dependent countries and were affected by the storms.
In 16 of the 28 countries in the Caribbean tourism is the largest.
Over 1,300 delegates and more than 60 nations will be attending the three-day forum, representatives from the World Travel and Tourism Council, Inter-American Development Bank, World bank Group and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation will be at the event.
Taleb Rifai , the United Nations World Toursim organization Secretary General will also be present at the forum which is expected to be the largest of its kind in Caribbean.