KINGSTON, JAMAICA – Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has welcomed figures announced by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), which point to significant growth in the Hotels and Restaurants industry. The PIOJ announced that the economy grew by 12.9 per cent during the April to June quarter of 2021 when compared to the same period last year. The tourism and hospitality industries contributed heavily to this, with record growth levels in hotel investments and international visitor arrivals.
According to the data released by the PIOJ, the Hotels and Restaurants industry, recorded the highest level of growth in the services industry category, with an increase of 330.7 per cent. Overall, the services industry increased by 14 per cent over the April to June quarter because of the significant increases in visitor arrivals when compared to the same period last year, when the borders were closed.
The figures show that for April – May 2021 stop-over arrivals totaled 205,224 visitors relative to none during the same period of 2020.
Minister Bartlett, delighted by the report, said that “the hospitality industry was amongst the hardest hit at the onset of the pandemic. In fact, it came to a complete halt which significantly impacted our economy. I am therefore very proud of the progress we have made to rebound, and the positive impact we have had on our economy, and by extension the people of Jamaica.”
“The increase of 330.7 per cent in the hotel sector is no small feat and is the result of the hard work that the Ministry of Tourism and our stakeholders have put in to create a safe environment for our workers in the industry as well as our visitors. The bubble that we have created within the Tourism Resilient Corridors, which has received worldwide recognition for its efficiency and innovation is also to be credited. Jamaica’s tourism sector continues to grow as an industry which is not only lucrative but also safe, seamless and secure,” he added.
The Minister also projects continued growth in the next quarter, as the recent re-opening of the cruise industry is projected to have a major impact on the economy.
“We are making excellent strides in laying the foundation for the full recovery of Jamaica’s tourism sector, safely and responsibly. It is not going to be an easy road as we navigate an unpredictable future but, in the long run, we will have a safer, more inclusive and resilient tourism sector for our workers, visitors and travel partners,” said Bartlett.
The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is an agency of the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service (MOFPS). It is the foremost planning agency of the government that seeks to initiate and coordinate the development of policies, plans and programmes for the sustainable development of Jamaica. It was established specifically to strengthen the planning capability of the Government.