Jamaica sets target for 250,000 tourists from UK and Ireland

Jamaica has set a target to attract 250,000 tourists from the UK and Ireland by 2025.

The figure was disclosed by tourism minister Edmund Bartlett as the country reported more than four million visitor arrivals in 2023 but a breakdown of UK and Ireland numbers was not available.

However, total earnings from inbound tourism rose by almost 18% year-on-year to $4.2 billion.

The surge highlights the island’s resilience amidst global challenges, solidifying its position as a premier travel destination and a top choice for UK holidaymakers in the Caribbean, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board.

The upturn came on the back of a global ‘Come Back’ tourism campaign.

The country now plans to add 8,500 new rooms by next year, a 33% increase in room capacity, and raise foreign exchange earnings by nearly 50%.

Tourism development investments totalling $5 billion will see 20,000 new rooms in the next 10 to 15 years, including 2,000 this year. 

Upcoming openings include the first 1,000 rooms of the Princess Grand Jamaica, the 753-room Riu Palace Aquarelle, and the 450-room Unico Hotel in Montego Bay.

Modernisation plans for Montego Bay’s Sangster international airport include a $70 million runway expansion and infrastructure upgrade.

Bartlett said: “The unprecedented success in tourism hasn’t just elevated Jamaica’s global prominence, but has also acted as a driving force for the overall national economic progress.

“The pursuit for authentic, eco-conscious experiences and cultural immersion is at the core of what travellers seek, and Jamaica excels in delivering just that.”

Tourism director Donovan White added: “Our bullish tourism recovery plan has enabled us to set our targets high and implement our latest plans as we continue to unveil new horizons in tourism, with the exciting addition of Excellence Oyster Bay, Wyndham, and the vibrant arrival of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino”.

UK & Northern Europe regional director Elizabeth Fox said: “With our visionary tourism recovery strategy fuelling the ‘Come Back’ campaign, we navigate beyond recovery to growth, with unwavering determination towards our goals.”

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