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Jamaica’s tourism earnings continue to grow

SUCCESS: Edmund Bartlett

MINISTER OF Tourism Edmund Bartlett is reporting gross foreign exchange earnings from the sector of US$2.34 billion for the first 10 months of the year, representing a 10.8 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 2016, Caribbean 360 reports..

The figure puts the country in good position to reach the US$3 billion mark for the year.

“So, we have two full months to go, and last year, the earnings for the entire year were US$2.56 billion. So…it is just possible, with a little more effort, in the month of December in particular, for us to make US$3 billion in earnings,” Bartlett said.

“That would be something very special, because we would break a new threshold.”

The Tourism Minister also disclosed that the country is on course to reach four million visitors for the “first time in our history (in) the first week of December”.

The island continues to have record-breaking arrivals, welcoming 3.3 million visitors during the first nine months of the year, which represents an overall increase of 9.5 per cent.

“It is indeed the only sector that has grown consistently. This year’s growth, so far, has outstripped all other periods of growth that Jamaica has had in tourism,” he said.

He explained that several factors have led to the growth, citing the warmth of the Jamaican people, additional room capacity, and increased airlift.

“If you have air access, you can get to the destination, and that’s what we did. We went out there with a very ambitious plan. We have restructured the Jamaica Vacations Company, and we have created an opportunity for (it) to be able to reach more airlines and to work with tour operators and to bring more flights into the destination."

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