Zika virus threat fails to dampen Jamaica tourism industry spirit

Published on : Sunday, February 7, 2016

ZikaDespite “anecdotal reports” of persons cancelling their bookings to Jamaica due to concerns about the Zika virus, the country’s tourism industry continues to do well, said Jamaica Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill.


He was speaking with reporters at the Playa Hyatt Ziva Resort in St. James on Tuesday night.


“… It is early days. We have anecdotally heard of cases of persons with concerns who have cancelled their trips. But, for now, our arrivals [are] still pacing ahead of last year. We are doing well and what we are doing is just monitoring closely,” said Dr McNeill.


“Right now we are having a good season. We are seeing increases in arrivals in both stop over and cruise. Our rates are up. Jamaica is hot out there. Great interest – which is driving investment in the industry. So, in a general sense, we are good,” added the tourism minister.


“We are among a region that has it, including the United States (of America). So, the extent to which you do not travel to a country that has the same issues as you, we will have to see how that will work out,” he said.


“We have been in touch with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association and all our partners and everyone has come together and we are all working together to treat the condition in the best way that it can be treated and to ensure that all measures that should be taken are being taken,” added Dr McNeill.


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