Alongside remittances, tourism was crucial to keeping the Jamaican economy afloat in those alarmingly tough times during and immediately after the global financial crisis of a few years back.
It remains absolutely key to economic stability.
Currently, Jamaica’s tourism draws down in excess of US$2 billion annually, and is continuing to grow with the annual number of visitors (stopover as well as cruise) exceeding 3.5 million.
The industry is a huge employer of labour. Tourism Minister Mr Edmund Bartlett recently said that the hotel sub-sector employs 89,000 people directly, while accounting for 250,000 in indirect employment. Presumably, indirect employment includes farmers who provide for the sector.