Jamaica projects that visitor arrivals will total close to 1.4 million in 2021, according to minister of tourism Edmund Bartlett.

"This breaks down to approximately 900,000 stayover arrivals and 500,000 cruise passengers," he said.

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By way of comparison, Jamaica welcomed 4.3 million visitors in 2019, a record year, comprising 2.7 million stayovers and 1.6 million cruise passengers, according to the Jamaica Information Service.

The destination has rolled out a vaccination program for its 170,000 workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors "to protect not only our citizens but also those who visit," Bartlett said.

The minister is hopeful that by this summer, more than 50% of those workers will be fully vaccinated. To date, 6,000 have gotten the first dose.

Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism, Jamaica.
Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism, Jamaica.

"The heart of the global recovery rests on vaccinations to prevent transmission of the virus and to make everyone feel safe," he said.

Bartlett was optimistic regarding the strong vote of confidence exhibited by the investment picture in Jamaica, noting that 4,300 rooms in new properties will be added to inventory by 2023 and will top 7,000 new rooms by 2025.

Speaking today at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association's virtual Marketplace event, the minister cited the important role played by travel advisors during the pandemic. "They are an extension of our sales teams, and while they have always played a vital role in our tourism efforts, now more than ever they are critical components of our industry's recovery," he said.

Jamaica recently revamped its Jamaica Travel Specialist training course and has been hosting small groups of advisor fam trips since March, which will continue through July.

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