For the 2022 summer period, which runs from late June to the end of August, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is projecting that the island will welcome approximately 800,000 visitors with destination earnings exceeding US$1.1 billion.
Director of Tourism, Donovan White, said the figures, respectively, represent 85 per cent of the pre-pandemic (2019) arrival levels, and more than 90 per cent in revenues for that year’s summer period.
He noted: “That will feed into our projections… at 2.2 million tourists for calendar year 2022.”
According to the tourism director, “What is interesting about this is that… we have been able to re-forecast full recovery to September 2023, versus the first quarter of 2024 and that is a good thing.
White attributed the rebound of the industry to the hard work of various stakeholders and the diversification of markets to attract more visitors to the island.
He pointed out that another important component of the recovery process is longer stay by tourists.
“Our length of stays has now moved from 8 1/2 nights to 9.2 nights, which is about a nine per cent increase, and we have also seen the spend per visitor, per day, increase from US$169 to about US$182,” said White.
He added: “What that means for Jamaica and our recovery is that our ability to have destination revenues outpace the recovery of visitors is a real fact and it is part of why we are so extremely bullish about bringing forward the recovery faster than planned.”
The director emphasized that a lot of time has been spent in the marketplace to ensure “we are not only tapping into [traditional markets] but we are also tapping into new marketplaces and finding new partners to work with us.
White was addressing the official ceremony to welcome the arrival of the inaugural flight from Quality Corporate Aircraft Services (QCAS) Aero, out of Fort Lauderdale, to the Ian Fleming International Airport in St Mary, on Wednesday (June 22).
The Miami-based QCAS Aero will operate an exclusive, premium nonstop flight to St Mary from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.