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Jamaica hotels reassuring travellers as more guests cancel their Jamaica holidays

  • 28-May-10 15:30
  • Jamaica
  • Holiday Industry

Taking immediate action to alleviate the negative images Jamaica holidays have recently been sending out as a result of the civil unrest and street violence in the country's capital, the island's hotels are rushing to reassure tourists not to cancel trips

Jamaica hotels reassuring travellers as more guests cancel their Jamaica holidays

Jamaican hotels are rushing to add security measures to reassure tourists and encourage them to still take their Jamaica holidays as clashes in the capital Kingston have been causing visitors to cancel their trips. According to Wayne Cummings, the head of Jamaica’s Hotel and Tourism Association there have been 300 hotel room cancellations on the Caribbean island since Prime Minister Bruce Golding declared a state of emergency on 23rd May, 2010.

The violent acts have concentrated in the capital of Kingston, with no reports of unrest near the golf courses, beaches and resorts that most tourists visit during Jamaica holidays in the northern coast. The country has 30,000 hotel rooms, and tourism accounts for about 10% of gross domestic product and 50 % of foreign exchange earnings, according to the Jamaican Tourist Board.

In order to prevent further damage to the Jamaica holidays industry, the country will launch a “strong” marketing campaign to bolster its image after tourism visits dropped 2% in May from a year earlier amid the clashes, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said today in a telephone interview.

While Jamaica holidays received a good injection of visitors with visits rising 6.5 %in the first three months of the year to 586,000, Bartlett said. Tourism revenue totaled $2 billion last year.

The seven Jamaica hotels owned by Sandals Resorts International, the largest operator of all-inclusive hotels in the Caribbean, are unaffected by the Kingston violence, spokeswoman Rachel McLarty also revealed.

Coke is accused by the U.S. of leading an international criminal group known as the “Shower Posse,” with members in Jamaica and the U.S. He is charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine and conspiracy to illegally traffic in firearms, according to the office of the New York Attorney General. His lawyers have denied any wrongdoing by Coke.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela told reporters in Washington that Jamaica is taking the right steps to extradite Coke and is “encouraged” by progress to date. The U.S. State Department on May 21 warned travelers that civil unrest in Kingston could block access to the international airport. Air Jamaica Ltd., the country’s largest carrier, closed an office in Kingston and canceled at least one flight today between the U.S. and Kingston.

Mark Williams, a spokesman for Kingston’s Norman Manley airport, said the airport is fully operational. Police have beefed up patrols along the roads from the airport into Kingston to protect travelers, he said.

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