Business View Caribbean | March 2020

7 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN MARCH 2020 J amaica is expecting that it will see 340,000 fewer tourists than it had projected this year in light of the threat posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that has triggered travel restrictions across the globe. Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett told the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, which is examining the 2020/21 Estimates of Expenditure, that industry projections for Fiscal Year 2020/21 have been revised downward. Jamaica has issued travel restrictions for Italy, China, South Korea, Singapore, and Iran. “Current global situations require for us to review some of our projected out-turns as well as our market strategy and, perhaps, to cautiously examine where and how we apply the budgetary arrangements with regards to advertising and promotions for the fiscal [year],” he said. Bartlett informed that the tourism industry’s estimated gross earnings in fiscal year 2020/21 are now projected at $3.69 billion, corresponding with visitor arrivals of 4.26 million, which includes stop over arrivals of 2.73 million and cruise arrivals of 1.53 million. The previous 2020/21 projections were $4.25 billion in earnings, with arrivals estimated at 4.6 million, inclusive of stopover arrivals at 2.96 million, and cruise arrivals at 1.65 million. Bartlett noted that while the industry has grown 5.2 per cent to date for the 2019/20 fiscal year, which is consistent with overall projections, the Government is conscious of the possible impact on bookings as well as aviation activities and the country’s capacities if COVID-19 escalates. “The Budget, this year (2020/21), reflects overall the intention to enable growth. But you would appreciate that this new projection would JAMAICA EXPECTS TOURISM ARRIVALS TO TAKE A HIT FROM GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK The business of ensuring that life continues, despite coronavirus, is a serious one OPENING L INES