Jamaica Welcomes Millionth Visitor Since Reopening Borders In June 2020
Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett (C), greets Daynel Williams, 4th L, Jamaica’s one millionth visitor at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay (MBJ). Sharing in the milestone moment are, from L-R, Director of Tourism, Donovan White; Shane Munroe, CEO MBJ; Kerry Ann Quallo-Casserly, Commercial Director; Nadine Spence, Area Chair Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA); and Audley Deidrick, President of MBJ. Daynel’s father Austin Williams (2nd L); mother Jennifer Williams (front row); and children Keon and Keona Francis, were also present.
Yesterday (Sunday, August 15), the Jamaica Tourist Board welcomed the arrival of the destination’s millionth visitor to the Sangster International Airport, a significant milestone since the country’s borders reopened on June 15, 2020. Daynel Williams, who arrived on JetBlue flight 1179 from New York, was greeted by the Minister of Tourism Hon Edmund Bartlett, Director of Tourism Donovan White and other tourism partners.
“The arrival of Daynel Williams, our millionth visitor since safely reopening, is an exciting milestone in Jamaica’s tourism recovery,” said Bartlett. “This moment is a testament to the hard work from all of our tourism workers and the success of the Jamaica CARES program, which has above all else, prioritized the health and safety of Jamaican citizens and visitors.”
Since reopening, Jamaica has successfully implemented the Jamaica CARES program that includes extensive health and safety protocols, entry testing, COVID-19 training for hospitality workers and travel authorization for every guest visiting the island. COVID-19 compliance certification is also required for hotels and attractions to ensure the safety of staff and guests.
“This is the fastest we have achieved one million visitors starting from zero arrivals and we are already seeing the signs of recovery with tourism workers being back on the job and earnings reaching US $1.5 billion,” added Minister Bartlett.
The extensive health and safety protocols have contributed to the continued rise of Jamaica’s visitor arrivals. Tourism levels for 2023 are currently projected to hit 3.7 million visitors and $3.5 billion in revenue, with 2024 on track to surpass 2019 levels with 4.2 million visitors and $4 billion in tourism revenue.
“We’re so proud of the Jamaica tourism sector and honoured by the influx of support since reopening 14 months ago,” said White. “Jamaica has so much to offer visitors, and I’m thrilled to see one million guests take advantage of our country’s diverse amenities and attractions.”
Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett (C), presents Daynel Williams, 2nd L, Jamaica’s one millionth visitor to the island, with a free stay courtesy of Royalton Resorts. Looking on are Shane Monroe, CEO of MBJ; Kerry Ann Quallo-Caserly, Regional Commercial Director, Blue Diamonds Resorts; and Clifton Reader, President of the JHTA.