By Dana Niland
Jamaica is reporting a big increase in visitor arrivals to the island for the first two months of the year.
The announcement came from Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett at a cocktail reception at the Terra Nova in Kingston this weekend.
“We ended January at 12 percent over last year, and February is still going ahead of last year,” Bartlett said.
The reception was hosted by the Jamaica Tourist Board in celebration of Minister Bartlett being named Caribbean Tourism Minister of the Year 2017 by Caribbean Journal.
Data from the JTB showed that a record 4.3 million tourists visited Jamaica in 2017, providing a revenue flow of $3 billion.
our partners, and they are understanding that what we are doing is to maintain Jamaica
Bartlett said that the tourism industry is a “significant driver” of Jamaica’s economy, noting that it has been the fastest growing sector, and the largest contributor to GDP, over the last 10 years.
He said the industry employs 10 percent of the global workforce, and accounts for more than 30 percent of trade in services.
“Tourism today has become a mammoth industry, that has been embraced by more than 79 countries,” he said.