Jamaica’s 2011 visitor arrivals have climbed 5.7% through August, representing a total of nearly 2.1 million visitors.
According to Edmund Batlett, Minister of Tourism: “Cruise arrivals also jumped by 13.6% in the first eight months, to 693,775 passengers, while stayover arrivals rose to 1.4 million in the same period,”
Bartlet said that Jamaica remains an attractive destination in such a competitive market, with tourist arrivals resulting in over $1.5 billion in visitor spend to the island,
As overall visitor numbers continue to increase, the Government has been addressing issues such as Air Passenger Duty, which is thought to be to blame for falling numbers of UK travellers to the Caribbean.
According to a report by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, arrivals from the UK to the Caribbean are declining, while those from other source markets are increasing, which could account for the overall rise in visitors for August.
But opposition to the APD tax is growing. In a recent survey of 150 MPs conducted by ABTA, three quarters agreed that further rises could deter thousands of ordinary families from flying.
An announcement is due on November 29 and an increase of approximately nine per cent is expected.
Jamaica – which was named was named Caribbean’s Leading Destination and Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board in 2010 by the World Travel Awards – continues to demonstrate its resilience.
John Lynch, Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board, recently revealed: “In the midst of the global economic challenges, Jamaica’s growth in 2010 is remarkable.
“We are fortunate to have an unrivalled tourism product offering diverse vacation experiences to the most discerning traveller and this is complimented by a high touch quality service which makes our visitors want to return.
In another move to set itself out from competition, next month, Jamaica will play host to the World Travel Awards Caribbean & The Americans Gala Ceremony at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island.
“Hosting WTA’s Caribbean and The Americas Ceremony will allow us to showcase that we offer an authentic experience which provides value for money,” Explains Lynch.
The event is set to attract the top decision-makers and thought-leaders from across the Americas and Caribbean as they compete for the most influential accolades in travel.