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Jamaica looks set to welcome one million visitors by end of June, 2017

The Minister of Tourism in Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett, has revealed that the country looks set to record one million visitors by the end of this month. If successful this will be the first time in Jamaica’s history that the island will receive one million travellers in the first six months of the year. Earnings for the first four months of 2017 have also hit an all-time high of more than US$1 billion, which is a 6.5 per cent increase on the same period in 2016.

Jamaica looks set to welcome one million visitors by end of June, 2017

The island of Jamaica looks set to receive one million visitors by the end of June, according to the Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett. The minister said that it will be the first time the Caribbean island has recorded one million tourists during the first six-month period of a year.

The island has also recorded its highest earnings in the first four months of a year, with US$1 billion brought in between January and April, 2017. This is a 6.5 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

“We are closing in on the first half of 2017 and we ended the month of May with a record 8.7 percent increase in stop-overs over the same month last year.”

Stated Minister Bartlett, speaking at a recent official welcome event for the launch a new Jamaica flight from Southwest Airlines. He added that the 971,000 passengers already recorded is just 30,000 short of the first million target which is expected to be reached by mid-June.

And continued adding:

“And when that happens it will be a record because it will be the first time in our history that we will make a million visitors before the end of June.”

The new Southwest Airlines flight will operate between Fort Lauderdale in Florida and the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The airline now operates flights to Jamaica from four different airports in the United States since it first launched services to the island in 2014. There are now six daily flights to Jamaica from airports in Baltimore/Washington, Chicago, Orlando and Houston.

Minister Bartlett added that the Jamaica tourism board and agencies are working hard to improve its product and service, and the island is seeing vast development such as the increase in first-class accommodation, and steps are being taken to ensure a safe and secure visitor experience.

In Montego Bay, an additional 1,000 guest rooms are due to be added to hotels this year, and more than 2,00 over the next four years. The region’s Sangster International Airport will also be improved over the next few years as part of a $100 million programme. According to Dr. Rafael Echevarne, the Chief Executive Officer of MBJ Airports, the runway and terminal will be extended, the taxiway and apron will be improved, and commercial facilities will be upgraded. 

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