By the end of the 2012 calendar year, more than 3.3 Million people had arrived on Jamaica’s shores. diGJamaica tabulates that of this total 1.98 Million were long-stay visitors, while 1.32 Million arrived via Cruise Ship. Total visitor arrivals increased by 7%, mostly driven by Cruise Ship Arrivals.
As cruise ship visitors continue to increase, the share of the pie continues to shift: In 2010 it was long-stay 68%, cruise-ship 32%, now in 2012 it is long-stay 60%, cruise ship 40%. Fortunately, the pie also grew by over 470,000 arrivals.
1.98 Million is quite a good number of people, but as the graph above shows, the growth in long-stay arrivals since 2010 has been slow. Only an additional 64,407 persons have arrived to stay for any extended period since 2010. As we well know, the long-stay visitors drive growth in the hotel industry and infuse much needed foreign exchange into the nation’s economy. The growth in long-stay arrivals for 2012 over 2011 was 1.7%.
Meanwhile, a record 1.32 Million persons visited Jamaica via cruise ship, Jamaica’s second consecutive year over 1 Million cruise-ship arrivals. 2012’s growth represented a 17% increase over 2011.
diGJamaica is enthusiastic about the dramatic increase in cruise-ship passengers over the last two years and would like to see that trend continue. Jamaica must find ways of capitalising economically from the short stay that the cruise-ship passengers have.