KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday December 10, 2012 – Jamaica has earned more than one billion US dollars from the tourism industry so far this year, Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Dr. Wykeham McNeill has said.
Speaking at the launch of Tourism Awareness Week 2012, McNeil said the earnings of US$1.7 billion represent a 3.2 per cent over US$1.6 billion generated for the same period in 2011.
He said stopover visitor arrivals also grew this year, increasing by 2.4 per cent between January and October, over the same period in 2011, to stand at 1.7 million,
McNeill pointed out that these figures are evidence of the significant strides that Jamaica has made in efforts to tap into new markets, and expressed optimism that the country is poised for record arrivals next year, consequent on these.
“We anticipate 2013 to be a ground-breaking year for Jamaica, and we will continue to tap new markets for opportunities, while boosting destination marketing efforts in these markets,” he said, adding that the authorities have been successful in arranging for new flights to boost tourist arrivals.
"For the winter tourist season, we will commence an inaugural non-stop flight from Moscow, Russia, starting January 1, 2013 into Montego Bay. We have also confirmed flight service from the Czech Republic, starting December 28. In addition, there will also be non-stop service from Paris, France.
“Out of the United Kingdom, we will add another flight from Gatwick, London that will become a weekly service starting in May 2013; while British Airways will maintain its three flights to Kingston, and Virgin Atlantic Airways, its three flights to Montego Bay,” McNeill said.
He said focus is also being placed on Latin America, while announcing that discussions with COPA Airlines have led to their confirming a doubling of their services from four to eight flights weekly flights into Jamaica, beginning the 2012 winter season.
“Approximately 1.1 million seats have already secured for the upcoming winter tourist season. These visitors will come from our traditional markets, including the United States, Canada, and Europe, as well as other markets such as Latin America.”
McNeill said the anticipated tourist arrivals result from a sustained advertising programme spearheaded by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), which included year-long destination wedding campaigns; innovative social media initiatives; travel agent specialist programmes; and delving deeper into niche travel markets. He said Jamaica will be participating in upcoming trade and consumer shows, as well as other publicity initiatives to further boost the tourism product. (CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)