Jamaica hosted more than 1.54 million land-based visitors in 2021. (photo via agustavop / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Jamaica hosted more than 1.54 million overnight visitors in 2021, Ministry of Tourism officials said Tuesday. The country’s 2021 visitor totals were driven by U.S. vacationers, who accounted for 1,278,679 overnight, land-based air arrivals in 2021.
While the 2021 arrivals represent a steep decline from the country’s pre-pandemic record of 2.7 million overnight, land-based visitors achieved in 2019 (based on Caribbean Tourism Organization data), the totals are among the highest post-outbreak arrivals reported by Caribbean destinations.
“The fact that we exceeded visitor arrivals and spend projections for 2021 is a clear testament to the strength and resilience of Jamaica’s tourism product as well as the excellent relationships we enjoy with our travel industry partners,” said Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s minister of tourism. “As we are gradually relaxing travel restrictions,” he added, “we fully expect a stronger recovery as consumers from our key source markets are resuming international travel in steadily growing numbers.”
As the pandemic played out over the past two years, Jamaica tourism officials established a “resilient corridors” system that limited travelers to the country’s popular tourist regions, and a “Jamaica Cares” program of Covid health and safety measures.
The policies were cited by government and tourism officials as enabling the country to quickly re-gain its tourism momentum after two years of travel shutdowns and restrictions.
Ministry of Tourism official said in December of 2021, overnight arrivals totaled 223,333 visitors, or 79.4 percent of December 2019 levels. Tourism and infrastructure developments across the island “continue to move forward,” said officials, who predict the country will welcome between 2.45 to 2.5 million visitor arrivals by the end of 2022, representing $2.9 billion in visitor spending.
During the weekend of March 3 to 6, Jamaica welcomed approximately 27,000 visitors which officials say is the highest number for any one single day since Jamaica reopened its borders to visitors in June of 2020. “Current bookings indicate a very strong month for March 2022, with projections for it to be on par with March 2019,” officials added.
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