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Two million cruise passengers expected to arrive in Jamaica in 2017

Cruise passengers in Jamaica are expected to reach two million by the end of 2017, according to the Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett. The Minister said that in 2016, more than 1.8 million cruise passengers visited the Caribbean island, and if the country reaches two million this year, it will rank in third place in the region in terms of visitor arrivals.

Two million cruise passengers expected to arrive in Jamaica in 2017

The number of passengers arriving by cruise liners to Jamaica is expected to reach two million by the end of 2017. According to the island’s Tourism of Minister, Edmund Bartlett, cruise arrivals reached more than 1.8 million in 2016.

Mr Bartlett says that if cruise passengers reach two million this year, then Jamaica will be ranked in third place in terms of visitor numbers in the region. Mexico and the Dominican Republic currently hold the top two places.

The Minister said that the cruise sector’s growth in Jamaica has been steady over the past ten years, and it has had a significant effect on the country’s economy. During a recent meeting in Miami with Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness and key stakeholders in the cruise industry, Mr Bartlett met with cruise ship owners and Chief Executive Officers of cruise lines to discuss future projects.

“We were able to talk about a wide range of interests and strengthen the partnerships… we feel very positive about that,”

stated Mr Bartlett.

Discussions were held on expansion plans for ports in Jamaica that would include the increase of cruise passenger arrivals and the opening of new ports. The developments will also create more employment and manufacturing opportunities for Jamaicans, both in the ports and aboard the ships.

Jamaica was on target to receive more than four million international visitors in total by the end of 2016. The majority of visitors originated from the United States and the United Kingdom, and July, 2016 was a record-breaking month of Jamaica with 211,000 people visiting the Caribbean island.

New developments on the island are making it easier for holidaymakers to travel around. These include the opening of the new North-South link of Highway 2000 last year; a 66-kilometre-long highway that connects Kingston and Ocho Rios, and reduces the travel time by 30 minutes.

The island is one of the Caribbean’s most popular tourist destinations thanks to its powder-soft white sand beaches fringed with swaying coconut palms, and crystal-clear turquoise sea.

The country boasts magnificent natural landscapes such as the Blue Mountains, the Green Grotto Caves, Dunn’s River Falls, and the famous James Bond Beach on the peninsular in Oracabessa Bay near Ocho Rios on the north coast of the island, which was featured in the James Bond film Dr. No.

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