In 2019 Jamaica had its busiest summer to date, with an influx of approximately 250,584 visitors. The latest data makes it clear that the summer of 2022 will be even busier than the summer of 2019. According to the Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, the number of bookings and other indicators show that the country will surpass 2019 levels. Bartlett stated how important this will be for the economy, as the increased visitor count can drive financial growth in many of the country’s sectors.
“A strong summer means that agriculture will be stronger, it means that manufacturing will be stronger, it means transportation will be stronger, it means small and medium enterprises that feed so much into the experience of tourism will be economically stronger,” said Bartlett during a welcoming address for the new American Airlines flight hailing from Austin, Texas. The impact on Jamaica from increased visitor count seems relatively obvious, but what does it mean for those interested in traveling to this beautiful and highly booked island destination?
Supply and Demand
The law of supply and demand holds true for travelers this summer. As more travelers continue to drive up bookings for flights and hotels, the available supply lowers, which results in rising prices. However, this has not deterred travelers as it may have in years past. After years of Covid putting a stop to most travel plans, a new phenomenon being coined “revenge travel” is driving up flight costs. Revenge travelers are willing to put up with the higher costs after going so long with being unable to travel.
According to Ed Bastian, Delta Airlines CEO, the demand for flights is “off the charts.” Bastian pointed out that summer fares for 2022 may be up to 30% higher than comparable fares from pre-pandemic times. The category of travel has also made little difference as Delta is seeing enormous demand for international, leisure, and business flights. This comes as no surprise for Jamaica as the country was ranked number one for summer bookings for U.S. travelers last month by Flight Centre Travel Group Limited.
While flights continue to fill up, Jamaican hotel rooms are similarly becoming more scarce. Coupled with a worker shortage in the hospitality sector, travelers should expect prices to be higher than they have been in years past. Many hotels report that they are full or at near-max capacity. For popular events in the country, such as Reggae Sumfest or Dream Weekend, local hotels report that they are at full occupancy.
So, What Can Travelers Do?
While many “revenge travelers” are more than willing to shell out more than they would have in the past, the more budget-minded travelers are left wondering what they can do to offset rising flight and hotel costs. Below are a few tips for finding the best deals:
- Be flexible on which days you can fly. Often, the difference between leaving just one day before or after your chosen date can save hundreds of dollars in flight costs.
- Book early. In the past, travelers could often wait for last-minute deals to become available, saving substantial amounts of money. However, at least for the time being, last-minute travel deals seem to be fading into the past.
- Try a bundle deal. Booking a flight, hotel, and car all in one package often comes with the benefit of receiving a discounted rate.
- Travel in the off-season. Booking your Jamaican holiday for summer and fall will likely result in a better deal than visiting during Jamaica’s busy winter and spring seasons.
It isn’t surprising that Jamaica is set to hit a new record for summer arrivals in 2022. With the advent of “revenge travelers” and the easing of Covid restrictions, travelers are eager to visit Jamaica’s beautiful blue waters, white-sand beaches, and stunning landscapes. Travelers interested in visiting Jamaica this summer should expect to pay more than in years past, but what a fantastic way to get “revenge.”
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