Jamaica logs impressive tourism earnings
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Jamaica Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (right) speaks with Manus Cranny, co-anchor of “Bloomberg Daybreak: Middle East” on Friday.
Speaking on Bloomberg TV on Friday, Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said the country’s post-pandemic recovery was so strong that stayover arrivals were at 97 percent of 2019 levels while revenues were even higher at 120 percent of 2019 earnings.
Bartlett added Jamaica had done much better than projected in the post pandemic recovery. “We had projected that we would reach 2019 levels in arrivals by 2023-24. We have done much better, in fact, we’re likely to hit 2019 levels in the first quarter of ‘23. But the good news is that our earnings are far ahead now, and that we will reach a projected US$5 billion [in annual] earning[s] for tourism by the end of 2023,” Minister Bartlett told Manus Cranny, co-anchor of “Bloomberg Daybreak: Middle East”.
The veteran tourism minister credited much of Jamaica’s success to actions taken during the pandemic and “our sense of why we needed to be resilient, and [building] resilience ahead of 2019.”
On the question of sustainability, Bartlett sees three central components: “One is the environment and enabling the management of the resources that you have. Because tourism is about the environment. The environment is the product. And so there is no product if we don’t manage the environment sustainably.”
Second, the minister pointed to “the economic development of our people and the communities and the well-being of the individuals.”
The third element is community governance and enabling communities to manage, operate and be “responsive to the industry and their own requirements for social development.”
These key factors drive Jamaica’s understanding of sustainability backed by goals the minister said were set to ensure that ”we manage the environment through a series of legislative, regulatory and policy initiatives. And also to bring private and public partnership together so that every action that is taken by our economic [partners] relates to a sustainable engagement.”
Referring to Jamaica’s ability to deal with the devastation of storms and hurricanes, Bartlett asserted that loss and damagefrom extreme weather is an important consideration not only for recovery, capacity building, mitigation and adaptation capabilities, but also, “more importantly, to be able to manage recovery and to recover quickly and to thrive thereafter.”
Bartlett, a key architect and founder of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre – whose mission is to track disruptions, to mitigate and manage their effects, and to help destinations recover quickly and thrive – asserted: “I think that it is clear that within a year after the pandemic, we have recovered, and we are now on the path to thriving.”