Most tourism workers back on the job, says Bartlett

Edmund Bartlett
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says most of the sector's 170,000 employees who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are back on the job.
The minister made the announcement in the House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon, however, he did not reveal the specific number of employees who have returned to work. 
Mr. Bartlett said Jamaica has earned US$1.7 billion from the sector since the borders were reopened in June 2020. 
From June last year to September this year, the country welcomed 1,285,368 visitors. It also saw 1,276,987 stopovers and 8,381 cruise visitors. 
The Tourism Minister expects an increase in employment opportunities from the cruise industry as the recovery continues. 
"We should have cruise fully back on track by December with pretty much the full fleet. We are projecting just under 300,000 cruise passengers to Jamaica by the end of the year, by which time, the Montego Bay and Falmouth ports should also be reactivated, with hopes of having calls also at Port Royal and Port Antonio," he announced. 
60% of workers vaccinated 
Mr. Bartlett said 60 per cent of tourism workers have received the COVID-19 vaccine. 
Many got the jab through the Tourism Vaccination Task Force, which organised a number of vaccination blitzes. 
The minister noted that the vaccination rate among tourism workers was more than double the national average.

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