Jamaica will search to reinvent itself as “cleaner and greener” vacation spot within the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, in line with tourism minister Edmund Bartlett.
Solely by doing so can the Caribbean vacation spot insulate itself from future shocks to the worldwide tourism trade, the minister defined.
“We have to now embrace new methods, a brand new orientation, new focus, a brand new mission and new ethos that can make sure that our tourism sector is ready to modify to the brand new regular of fixed, destabilising threats to make sure its adaptiveness, agility and in the end survival within the publish Covid-19 period.
“We’ve lengthy talked about area of interest markets; nonetheless, we have to transfer quick to establish and goal these area of interest markets that can give Jamaica a aggressive edge within the post-Covid period,” he added.
“There’s appreciable alternative for Jamaica to realize competitiveness and resilience by establishing itself as a sustainable vacation spot based mostly on exploiting our pure benefit with respect to potential area of interest markets reminiscent of well being, wellness, nature, tradition and heritage in addition to gastronomy.”
The remarks got here throughout an internet tackle to the Jamaica Cash Market Brokers (JMMB).
Minister Bartlett argued that the Caribbean had been among the many hardest hit areas of the world through the pandemic, due largely to its reliance tourism.
Caribbean tourism-dependent nations misplaced an estimated 12 per cent of their GDP final 12 months, in comparison with 4.4 per cent world financial contraction over the identical interval.
The WTTC estimated that six million jobs within the journey and tourism trade and greater than US$110 billion in contribution to GDP had been misplaced in Latin America and the Caribbean alone in 2020.
From a nationwide perspective, Bartlett mentioned, the Jamaican financial system has been haemorrhaging from the sharp decline in vacationer arrivals skilled over the previous 14 months.
Pre-crisis, tourism generated direct employment for some 175,000 Jamaicans and oblique employment for over 354,000.
It was additionally the only largest contributor to GDP, the primary supply of overseas revenues and one of many principal sources of exports.
Regardless of losses, nonetheless, there have been some indicators of restoration.
“I’m buoyed by the truth that the rebound of the tourism sector has began,” mentioned the minister.
“The tourism labour drive is now estimated at 70 per cent of its pre-crisis capability.”
Jamaica welcomed over 135,000 guests in Could, and expects to obtain over 155,000 in June.
“Fortunately, fast vaccination inside america and different supply markets is offering a glimmer of hope that confidence in worldwide journey will rebound shortly,” concluded minister Bartlett.
Jamaica is taken into account the World’s Main Household Vacation spot by voters on the World Journey Awards.