World Tourism Day, September 27, was created to talk about the global impact of tourism. Under the theme “1 Billion Tourists, 1 Billion Opportunities”, this day seeks to highlight and encourage tourism as used for the greater good of development. Though a tiny dot in the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica certainly commands a sizeable tourism market for itself. In the spirit of the day, let’s take a look at 5 facts about the Jamaican tourism market:
- Tourists spent US$2.2 billion in Jamaica in 2014, up 6.4% from the previous year
- In that year, Jamaica welcomed 3.5 million visitors. 2.1 million came as long stay visitors, and the additional 1.4 million came via cruise
- Most visitors to the island come from the United States, Europe and Canada
- The average stay for foreign visitors was 8.7 days, while it was 16.5 nights for non-resident Jamaicans.
- 35,166 people are directly employed in the accommodations segment of the local tourism industry, with many more indirectly employed through tourism’s supporting industries