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Almost US$3 billion earned up from tourism

Almost US$3 billion earned up from tourism

Posted  27 Views updated 27 days ago

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says Jamaica's tourism recovery is ahead of schedule and is just a shade behind 2019 levels. 

Up to Saturday, August 27, the sector had earned just under US$3 billion, compared to all of 2019 when the amount earned for the entire year was US$3.6B, he pointed out. 

“I'm able to say to you that tourism, as the industry that drives the economy, now is recovering faster than we anticipated,” Bartlett said while addressing a town hall in Priory, St Ann on Sunday afternoon. 

He added: “We projected that we would recover to 2019 level by 2023-2024. We had a mid-year review this weekend and I'm very pleased to tell you that, to date, we have 1.7 million visitors who have come and they've spent just a little under US$3 billion. In 2019, we earned $3.6 billion full year, and we're gone eight months and we're just at the edge of $3 billion so we're projecting $4B [for this year].” 

Bartlett said the projection for this year reflects a 15 to 20 percent increase over 2019 earnings. 

Bartlett said the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), which is responsible for enhancement activities in resort areas, has brought in J$2.64B in four months, which is about 90 percent of was achieved in 2019. 

The town hall was called to discuss plans to upgrade Priory beach, also known as Fantasy beach, in St Ann. 

The plans call for a development in the same vein as the Harmony Beach Park in Montego, St James and the project is scheduled to get off the ground in January 2024.

Completion is expected within a year. 

The contract has been awarded to Yahso Construction, whose principal is Andre Baugh.

The cost for the project is yet to be determined as the final concept is still to be finalised. 

At the meeting, residents expressed concerns that the beach is being taken over by private hands, to which Bartlett assured them that this will not be done and that the facility will remain free to the public upon completion.

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