Higher airline ticket prices forecasted for travelers
Air travel will become more expensive for travelers due to the rising oil prices. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the average jet fuel price is $106 per barrel. This price reflects a four per cent increase in jet fuel between January and February and an overall 57 per cent increase when compared to last year.
Higher oil prices may not be the only reason for more expensive tickets but also the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions which has resulted in more people travelling to international countries of their choice.
A likely impact of more expensive tickets in Jamaica’s tourism industry. North America, specifically the US is the country of origin for most tourists visiting Jamaica and US travelers are not exempt from this airfare increase. The travel app company, Hopper in their Consumer Airfare Index Report for January reported that in the next six months, airfare is expected to increase by an average of five per cent each month until June. It also noted that the most significant increases would have started from January and will continue into this month. The significant increase is because of the demand for flights following the Omicron variant wave. Like the International Air Travel Association (IATA), Hopper said that higher jet fuel prices are the cause for higher airfares.
In Jamaica, stopover arrivals in 2020 went down by 67.2 per cent when compared to 2019, as was expected due to the impact of COVID-19 on global travel.
In November of last year, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett noted, “Jamaica is well on its ways to recovery. The 2021 stopover arrivals are estimated to be up 41 per cent year-over-year, and year to date, we have recouped nearly half of the 2019’s stopover business.”
He also estimated that visitor arrivals will be 3.2 million by the end of this year. He said 2.1 million of that figure will be stopover arrivals. It is likely that these estimated numbers may be affected.