Local tourism of Jamaica is on track to become the fastest growing industry

Published on : Friday, March 15, 2019

Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Tourism Minister, Jamaica, explains that the local industry is on target to become the fastest growing economic engagement of Jamaica.


He said that this is based on the major inflows of the sector to the gross domestic product (GDP), and on the fact that its contribution “has grown faster than every industry in the country” in the last two and a half years.


The Minister was attending a ceremony to declare the names of 19 semi-finalists competing for the 2018 Tourism Service Excellence Awards (TSEA), at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday (March 12).


Mr. Bartlett repeated that Jamaica greeted a record of 4.31 million tourists last year and generated around US$3.3 billion in earnings.


This, he emphasized has facilitated the industry to employ 120,000 people directly, and churn out 250,000 indirect jobs.


Based on initial figures, the Minister stated that tourism contributed US$450 million or 22 percent of the revenue flowing into the GDP, adding that US$3.3-billion visitor expenditure in general accounted for 50 percent of foreign exchange inflows for 2018 in Jamaica.


Mr. Bartlett, observed that for 2018, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is still putting together the final GDP figures. This indicated that the equivalent 2017 out-turn demonstrated the contribution of tourism to the national growth figures have grown by 0.6 percent, moving from 8.4 to nine percent.


In the meantime, the Minister said the growth prospects of the industry are increasingly positive world over and hoped to redound to the benefit of the country, in light of the fact that “Jamaica’s tourism growth mirrors the growth globally”.


This, he noted, is in opposition to the backdrop of local and global industry developments in the last five decades, and future possibilities.


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