The Caribbean tourism industry continues to grow despite the number of problems that the sector faced in 2017, Jamaican Minister for Tourism Edmund Bartlett told attendees of the recent UN World Tourism Organization Global Conference on sustainable tourism at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Jamaica.
Reported in the Jamaica Observer, Bartlett disclosed that more than a million more tourists had visited the region in the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period last year. The total number of tourists for the first half of 2017 reached 16.6 million
“Despite the multi-faceted challenges confronting the region, Caribbean tourism continues to grow at record pace,” Bartlett stated. “The tourism sector in the region was able to overcome early projections of downturn in global tourism receipts for 2016 — amid volatility and uncertainty in main source markets such as the US and parts of Europe owing to Brexit, the US presidential elections, and terror attacks in Brussels and in other European cities — to grow at an unprecedented rate of 4.2 per cent in 2016.”
The minister said that both hurricanes Irma and Maria tested the Caribbean tourism sector’s resilience, with 13 regions heavily affected by the storms.