(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett says he believes the tourism industry could begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic in another five months.
“I think at about September, we will begin to see the turnaround and I think borders will begin to open. This is not to say that they’ll be flying everywhere or flying in Jamaica,” the minister said.
Bartlett, who was speaking recently at a digital press briefing, noted, however, that the timeline for recovery largely depends on how quickly some of the source markets pull out of this crisis.
“The United States (US) is our main market. More than 75 per cent of all the visitors who come to Jamaica – cruise and stop over – (come) from the US and Canada and it’s important that we watch carefully how they are handling and responding to recovery,” he said.
Bartlett said the ministry has already put plans in place to ensure Jamaica’s tourism sector “is ahead of the game,” open for businesses and getting business once the source markets start to turn around.
The Minister said the tourism sector is expected to bounce back quickly post COVID-19, with the required flexibility to adjust to a new era.
“Tourism has to be the first out of the block. We recognise that the changes that COVID-19 has brought is requiring us to rethink, to retool and to be very agile and adaptive as well as adaptable to the various changes that it is going to bring,” Mr. Bartlett said.
The Minister noted that ideally, about December/January 2021 he would expect some normalcy then the focus can shift towards growth.