Jamaica looks set for a record-breaking year in tourism numbers
Jamaica has recorded a significant increase in tourists since the start of the year, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board. The organisation predicts 4.2 million international travellers visiting Jamaica by the end of the year, which will beat last year’s record of 3.84 million visitors. The number of cruise arrivals and tourism industry earnings have also increased this year.
Jamaica looks set to welcome a record-breaking year in visitor numbers after recent figures were released by the Jamaica Tourist Board. The statistics show that arrivals since the beginning of the year have been the highest ever.
The Caribbean island’s tourism professionals are expecting to see the island receive 4.2 million international visitors by the end of 2017. This would surpass last year’s record-breaking 3.84 million visitors to Jamaica.
As well as an increase in tourist numbers, the island is seeing a rise in tourism earnings with $1.46 billion recorded in the first half of 2017, which was a 5.8 per cent growth compared to the same period last year. There has also been a rise in cruise arrivals, and between January and July this year, 1,088,718 international cruise passengers visited Jamaica.
The Hon. Edmund Bartlett, the Minister of Tourism in Jamaica, stated:
“Jamaica is on to a very good path. We are getting more rooms, we are getting more airlifts, we are getting more visitors, and we are earning more.”
The increase in cruise arrivals has been helped by the recently launched Cruise Jamaica initiative, which has been created to promote Jamaica as the Caribbean’s leading cruise destination to passengers, travel agents and the cruise industry. The Jamaica Tourist Board is working with the Port Authority of Jamaica to attract more ships, passengers and cruise lines.
Several ports in Jamaica are under development to help increase cruise ship capacity on the island. These include Kingston Port which will undergo dredging to accommodate larger ships, and Montego Bay which will increase its cruise ship berth capacity, add new cruise terminals, and improve ground transportation options for disembarking cruise passengers. Port Antonio is under development to improve its facilities for smaller cruise lines and luxury yachts, while Ocho Rios Port will have a new Artisan Village showcasing its cultural offerings.
A series of new hotels and resorts are currently under developments in Jamaica, and a further 15,000 guest rooms are expected to be added to the Caribbean island by 2021. The nation boasts accommodation to suit all budgets and requirements, from family run B&Bs and self-catering apartments, to luxury beachfront resorts and chic boutique hotels.
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