Visitors to Jamaica spent an estimated US$759.3 million during the period January to March this year, according to figures released by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).
It said that the island welcomed 1,217,870 visitors during the three month period and that the figures represent increases of 1.7 and 3.7 per cent in arrivals and expenditure, respectively, over the corresponding quarter in 2016.
PIOJ said that the total arrivals reflected increases of 0.1 per cent for stopover and 3.2 per cent for cruise-passenger visitors, “largely reflecting increased arrivals from Europe and Canada, as arrivals from the United States declined”.
It said that these out-turns spurred 0.3 per cent growth in the hotels and restaurants sector, with stopover visitors accounting for 92.1 per cent of the US$759.3 million in earnings generated, which amounted to US$699.9 million.
PIOJ said that said preliminary data for April 2017 showed a 10.5 per cent increase in stopover airport arrivals and 7.5 per cent for cruise passengers.
It said the decline in the arrivals from the United States during the March 2017 quarter was attributed to the “Easter Effect”.
“We saw that where Easter fell within the January to March 2016 quarter (we recorded) robust numbers there. This year, Easter fell in April… and so the numbers would have reflected a lower out-turn (in the March quarter)… while the numbers were much higher, when we examined April,” said PIOJ director general Dr. Wayne Henry.