New intent to promote health tourism and new spa centres

 

In keeping with the goals of the Tourism Master Plan and Vision 2030 the Ministry of Tourism has targeted the development and strengthening of linkages between tourism and other sectors of the economy. The Tourism Linkages Network includes a health and tourism network of public and private partners.

Within the framework for health and wellness tourism, Jamaica intends to promote existing health tourism products and services as well as develop and market spa facilities throughout the island. Part of the development is encouraging spas to meet international standards. But so far it is just intent and political statements with no real base.

Further to a record breaking 2017, Jamaica tourism numbers for the first quarter of the year have hit new highs. According to Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, total stop over and cruise passenger arrivals were 1.3 million for the first quarter of 2018 (January to March), 80,000 more tourists than in 2017.

Most tourists come from the USA, Europe and Canada, and Jamaica is targeting new markets in Argentina, Chile, Peru and Colombia. In 2017 it had 2.35 million stop over tourists and 1.9 million cruise passengers who do not stay on the island overnight.

The ministry intends to transform the island’s tourism sector and has implemented a growth plan to attract five million visitors by 2021, generate US$5 billion in tourism earnings, and add 15,000 new hotel rooms.

Jamaica’s well-established tourism industry offers healing springs, spas, medical spas and hotel spas. The country wants to expand into retirement villages and spas and expand into medical tourism but needs overseas investors to fund this.  View the IMTJ country report on the Jamaican health tourism sector.

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