Jamaica Sets Record of Visitors and Earnings for 2023

Kingston, Jamaica – With a record winter tourist season on the horizon, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has announced that the island is set to eclipse its growth projections for visitor arrivals and tourism earnings for 2023, based on the robust growth trajectory of Jamaica’s vibrant tourism industry.

While providing an update on the sector in the House of Representatives earlier this afternoon, Minister Bartlett outlined optimistic estimates. He said “the island should record a total of 4,122,100 visitors for the period January to December, 2023. This would signal an increase of 23.7% over the total number of visitors recorded in 2022.”

Highlighting the impressive growth trend, Minister Bartlett said: “Of this number 2,875,549 are expected to be stopover visitors, which would represent a 16% increase over the number of stopover arrivals recorded in 2022. Additionally, we expect to end the year with a total of 1,246,551 cruise passengers, which would represent a 46.1% increase over the tally for 2022.”

Stressing that the sector’s record-breaking recovery seems set to continue, he noted that: “This continues the spectacular growth pattern of tourism, with 10 consecutive quarters of substantial growth since the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on arrival figures to date, all indications are that we will be having an 11th quarter of significant expansion.”

In terms of tourism earnings, the Minister announced that “this influx of visitors is expected to generate a whopping US$4.265 billion for 2023, representing a projected increase of 17.8% over the revenue secured in 2022, and a 17.2% increase in revenue over the pre-pandemic year of 2019.”

Minister Bartlett emphasized that, “if we continue on our impressive growth trajectory, we will be on track to surpass our projections of 4 million visitors and foreign exchange earnings of US$4.1 billion by year-end.”

Additionally, the Minister provided an estimated breakdown of these earnings, specifying direct revenues to the government’s coffers. These include contributions to the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) fees, Departure Tax, Airport Improvement Fee, Airline Passenger Levy, Passenger fees and charges, as well as the Guest Accommodation Room Tax (GART), amounting to US$336 million or JA$52 billion.

Minister Bartlett expressed gratitude for the support and sterling contribution of all tourism stakeholders to the continued success of the sector, including tourism workers, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and other local and international partners. The tourism minister reaffirmed that the Ministry, its public bodies and all tourism partners remain committed to fostering the sustainable growth and resilience that have enabled Jamaica to maintain its position as a premier travel destination globally.