Tourism drives Jamaica’ GDP to 4%

Big increase in visitor arrivals in the first quarter of 2019 set to give Jamaica’s GDP a big lift in the quarter.

The huge increase in tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2019 is likely to result in a 4 percent growth in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of the year, data compiled by IC Insider.com suggest.
While the category of Hotels and Restaurants that tourism sector falls only accounts for around 7% of total GDP, the huge increase in stop over arrivals being enjoyed by the sector in the March quarter, will most likely more than compensate for its size in GDP computation and could add as much as one percentage point, to the quarter’s growth.
According to the Jamaica Tourist Board, “stopover arrivals in January 2019 were 216,509 an increase of 11.3% or 21,900 additional arrivals over the 194,609 recorded in January 2018.” Importantly, the arrivals from USA, the country with the high tourism spend is up 20 percent and would have contributed more in inflows as a result of the higher spend even as number of nights they stayed slipped a bit form 2018.

Construction sector is also expecetd to continue to lift the economy in 2019.


February, is up by 14.9 percent, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett told The Sunday Gleaner and reported by that publication on March 3. The Jamaica Observer stated, “data provided by Delano Seiveright, communications strategist and advisor in the Ministry of Tourism, show that total visitor arrivals for the period March 1-17 amounted to 148,052, a 24.8 percent increase over the 118,597 recorded for the same period last year. Breaking down the numbers, Seiveright said that for the period March 1-17 this year Montego Bay welcomed 125,069 visitors, an increase of 22.7 percent compared to 101,967 for the same period last year, while the numbers for Kingston were 22,983, up 38.2 percent over the same period last year.”

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