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Jamaica expects to earn USD 800 million this winter

  • 24-Nov-11 15:40
  • Jamaica
  • Antigua Observer

Jamaican Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, has recently announced that the island is expecting to earn over US$800 million during the 2011/2012 winter season as the nation gets ready to receive a record number of tourists taking Jamaica holidays.

Jamaica expects to earn USD 800 million this winter

The Caribbean island of Jamaica is expecting to earn millions over the coming winter months as a record number of visitors are expected to arrive to the country to enjoy the season’s sun, sea and sand.

Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, said that the nation is expecting to earn more than US$800 million over the winter season which will have a positive impact on the tourism industry and the economy as a whole.

Mr Bartlett told the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Luncheon Forum that the island is likely to see an increase in tourists taking Jamaica holidays over the winter months due to the sales of more than one million seats that have already been booked on flights to Jamaica; a 5.6 percent increase on the same period in 2010.

“This will allow us to bring in 769,385 visitors for the winter, which will be a five per cent increase over the winter last year. For cruise arrivals, we will have a whopping 48.4 per cent increase in the 2012 winter, over (last winter),” Bartlett said.

 Relax in Jamaica
Image by: Elvir72, on Flickr

Approximately 583,186 cruise ship passengers are expected to arrive to Jamaica holidays this winter which will bring the total number of tourists to 1.3 million.

Mr Bartlett explained: “That will represent a 20.2 per cent increase over last year, and the earnings we expect to derive from this will be US$843 million, an 8.2 per cent increase over the year before.

“So, those who are planning for next year, this is what the projections are – they are based on the fact that we have gone out there, built the market, and we know where the goods are coming from.”

The Tourism Minister explained that the declining number of UK travellers booking Jamaica holidays was a concern due to the increase in the British government’s controversial Air Passenger Duty.

Caribbean countries are continuing with their lobby to get the government in the UK to remove APD so that British holidaymakers will once again be able to afford to fly to the Caribbean.

 Paradise in Jamaica
Image by: lynagh, on Flickr

APD was introduced by the British Government in 1994 and since then the UK government has increased the tax by a staggering 2,600 per cent which has had a severe impact on the number of travellers who book luxury holidays to the Caribbean.

The tax is charged according to how far away the capital of a country is from the United Kingdom. Despite Florida and Hawaii being located further from the UK, the country’s capital New York is closer than many Caribbean capital cities, so passengers travelling to the United States are charged less.

The 2011 World Travel Awards recently honoured some outstanding Jamaica hotels for their impeccable performance, and the island was voted the “Caribbean’s Leading Destination” for the sixth year in a row.

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