Jamaica is predicting revenue of approximately US$1.5 billion from the tourism industry by the end of August as the island rebounds from the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said that the island should also record one million visitors during the same period and that the revenue projections are based on out-turns over the last seven months during which nearly 700,000 tourists visited Jamaica.
He said that the overall figure for the period exceeds 800,000 when coupled with general passenger arrivals and is set to reach the one-million mark over the next several weeks.
Bartlett, addressing the digital opening ceremony for the seventh staging of the ‘Christmas in July’ tradeshow, said that the current and projected out-turns are testament to the sector’s resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“No other industry could do that in seven months… [but] the tourism industry has,” Bartlett said, noting that more than 50,000 tourism industry workers have been reinstated in jobs over the last six months.
He said that the sector has, in many ways, bounced back and grown faster than several other areas of Jamaica’s economy.
Bartlett said that the focus on recovery is being done even as the country continues to deal with the “awesome” challenge of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, which, he said, is characterized by uncertainty.
“What it requires of us is nimbleness…an ability to pivot, to respond, adapt and change… in the face of uncertainty. It’s a great call on the Government, on the individuals, as well as the institutions that operate within the wider community,” he said.
The ‘Christmas in July’ tradeshow is a collaborative initiative of the Tourism Linkages Network – a division of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Rural Agricultural Development Authority, Jamaica Promotions Corporation, and Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association.