Tourism in the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica has almost entirely recovered from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Edmund Bartlett, Jamaican Minister of Tourism, announced at a meeting with members of a special delegation from the Republic of Namibia led by Namibia’s Minister of Presidential Affairs, Christine Hoebes.
“The good news is that Jamaica has now recovered 90 pc from the Covid-19 pandemic in the tourism sector,” said Bartlett. “Our recovery in terms of arrivals this year is likely to be well over 3 million, and we are also expecting our earnings will be just about USD100 million, or so, below our best earnings in 2019 of USD 3.7 billion,” added Bartlett.
He also highlighted that Jamaica’s main source markets are also rebounding strongly from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Giving details of the recovery in terms of source markets, Bartlett said that the United Kingdom was the only market where the nation’s tourism sector had gone beyond the pre-pandemic numbers in terms of arrivals as the number of British tourists that have visited Jamaica so far this year is 6 pc more than the number of tourists in the corresponding period in 2019. He added that the US also has recovered very strongly, and while Canada is lagging behind a little, progress is being made.
The meeting with the Nambian delegation followed a meeting of the Jamaica/Namibia Joint Committee earlier this week where agreements were signed in several areas including tourism, logistics, urban development and diaspora cooperation.
Based on Jamaica’s tourism recovery, the nation can give some help and support in terms of Namibia’s own recovery programme, Bartlett said on the occasion.
According to a press release under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which covers tourism, both countries will collaborate in areas such as marketing, human capital development, sustainability and resilience building.
This will entail working with officials in Namibia to facilitate the establishment of a satellite centre of the Jamaica based, Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) in the coming months.
Namibian Minister Christine Hoebes said she was looking forward to close collaboration with Jamaica on all fronts, especially that of tourism and human capital development.
Hoebes also noted that the collaboration would help strengthen the relations between the two countries and the agreement would put Namibia in a better place regarding cruise tourism, especially from the port in Montego Bay, Jamaica to the port in Walvis Bay, Namibia.