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Published on : Friday, June 12, 2015
Jamaica recorded a five percent increase in overall visitor arrivals for the 2014/15 winter tourist season over the corresponding period last year, says Jamaica Tourism and entertainment minister, Dr Wykeham McNeill.
Speaking at the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association’s (JHTA) 54th annual general meeting and convention in Montego Bay, McNeill said Jamaica recorded a 9.1 percent increase in stopover arrivals from the United States, with 445,000 visitors coming from that country between January and April 2015.
This was 37,000 more than the corresponding period in 2014.
The minister said 61,670 visitors arrived from the United Kingdom, up from 48,363 last year, representing a 27.5 percent increase, and described this as a “marked improvement over previous years.”
He further said that cruise ship passenger arrivals increased by 11.2 percent for the period under review, compared to 2014.
The minister attributed these outturns to renewed and significant growth in the United States, Jamaica’s largest source market, as well as the United Kingdom and Europe.
McNeill said, based on these figures, Jamaica should record a positive 2015 summer tourist season, with expectations high for the fall and 2015/16 winter periods, based on the continual upward trend in visitor arrivals.
The minister said the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is already promoting the 2015 fall and 2015/16 winter tourist seasons, while advising of plans for the island to have a continuous, year-round tourist season without the traditional breaks.
McNeill also commended the JHTA on its role in and contribution to Jamaica’s achievement of its tourism performance targets, noting that the public /private partnership facilitating this “is now bearing fruits.”
“A large part of the work that goes into bringing those arrivals to Jamaica is done by the people in this room, and I want to thank each and every one of you,” he added.