Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, has reported strong growth figures in cruise ship arrivals for the first eight months of the year.
He informed that total cruise arrivals were recorded at 937,000 visitors for January to August, reflecting a 33.9 per cent increase over the 700,000 visitors for the corresponding period last year.
As it relates to stopover arrivals, the Minister said there was a 2.4 per cent increase for January to August over the same period in 2011, and preliminary figures are showing a five per cent growth from September 1 to 27, which is a traditional slow month.
Dr. McNeill stated that through the efforts of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Jamaica Vacations (JAMVAC) efforts are being made to “crank things up even further” for the coming winter season.
He informed that adequate airlift has been secured from the island’s major markets, as well as from new and emerging ones.
Minister McNeill underscored the government’s on-going thrust to upgrade the island’s tourism infrastructure, and announced plans to rebrand the town of Ocho Rios under the theme: “Where Eden meets the Ocean”.
By Bryan Miller,