Jamaica’s tourist arrivals return as Covid departs

Jamaica's tourist arrivals
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Jamaica’s tourist arrivals return as Covid departs

News that tourist arrivals are returning to pre-pandemic levels is indeed encouraging as it speaks to Jamaica’s popularity as a holiday destination and the fact that people overseas feel comfortable with the island’s management of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

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BHTA Chairman Renée Coppin makes tourism vow

To its eternal credit, the tourism industry was early out of the blocks after Jamaica was shut down in March 2020 when the first case of the virus was reported here. Readers will recall that the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association assembled a team drawing from its wide stakeholder groups, involving Government, hotels, attractions, and all their component parts and linkages.

By April 23, 2020 the team had a first draft on its way to creating the Resilient Corridor. That was fine-tuned by the tourism and health ministries and sent to the Cabinet, which subsequently signed off on May 10, 2020.

It is worth repeating that the sense of conviction, collaboration, and determination of the tourism leaders made it possible for the Government to give the go-head for the industry to reopen in mid-June 2020. That, we hold, was a saviour, as the economy, which relies heavily on tourism earnings, was plunging.

We remember well that within a month of the reopening Jamaica welcomed more than 810,000 visitors and, by August 15 last year, the number of visitors spiralled to one million. Chalk up that impressive performance to the success of the Resilient Corridor, which was the only space in Jamaica offering 100 per cent testing of visitors and has a positivity rate of infections of below one per cent.

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One of the factors contributing to that reality is that 95 per cent of Jamaica’s hotels and attractions are in open air spaces which are not as conducive to spread of the virus.

Tourism rebound is good news  Jamaica Observer

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Dean Nestor

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