Tourism Stakeholders Predict Best Winter Season Since 2019, But Risks Loom

  • With an uptick in cruise arrivals and a positive forecast for stopover visitors, tourism officials and other stakeholders are predicting the best winter season for Jamaica since 2019. 
  • In fact, the level of buoyancy currently being displayed throughout the sector is such that the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) is projecting an average of 65.0% occupancy for the 2021 winter tourist season. 
  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett highlighted the role played by the island’s resilient corridors in creating and maintaining an environment that is both safe for locals and visitors. He also commended the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) for their efforts in ensuring that the health and safety guidelines were in line with international standards. 
  • Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) President, Clifton Reader, noted that during a recent visit to Jamaica by travel agents and tour operators, the hotels received excellent ratings for maintenance of product standards and health and safety protocols. This is expected to translate into increased bookings for the destination. This will not only strengthen the linkages between tourism and other sectors but will also benefit other industries, including farmers and other suppliers. 
  • Notwithstanding, due to concerns about the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant and new travel restrictions, there has been a spike in hotel booking cancellations globally which will threaten the recovery in global tourism. In addition, it has been observed that more persons were choosing domestic travel. This poses a downside risk to the anticipated forecast for the local winter tourism season.

(Source: JIS News)