ST James hotelier Robin Russell is expressing qualified optimism about the tourism sector's recovery in the months ahead and is anticipating a “sensible winter season” despite the onslaught on the industry by the coronavirus pandemic.
His statement follows a three-month closure of the sector which lost a sizeable chunk of its summer season, with the virus slowing the pace of Jamaica's summer arrivals by 40 per cent.
“We know that the summer is already passed and you know people are still very concerned about travelling [but] we're hoping that we will be looking at around 30 per cent of where we were last year in the hotel business.
Earlier this month, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said that with a summer restart, the industry could record visitor arrivals averaging between 20 and 30 per cent, with the figure rounding down to 20 per cent during the fall period, before picking up to about 60 or 70 per cent over the winter season.
“We could end up with another two million visitors — somewhere around 50 per cent of last year if we can have a summer start… between June and August,” he said.