Jamaica welcomes celebrity travellers as unrest subsides
Jamaican tourism minister Edmund Bartlett praised the impact of celebrity travel

Jamaica welcomes celebrity travellers as unrest subsides

Jamaica minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has welcomed a series of high profile visitors to the island as the local tourism sector seeks to overcome a run of bad news.

The Caribbean hotspot was forced to introduce a state of emergency in the popular Montego Bay area earlier this year, as the government sought to get rising crime under control.

However, the move has not deterred celebrity travellers, with both Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez both recently seen in the area.

According to a release from the Jamaica tourist board, the destination continues to benefit from “a raft of high-profile visits by celebrities”, which also recently included former US president Bill Clinton.

Minister Bartlett also pointed to figures showing a roughly seven per cent increase in the number of stopover tourists for the month of January, compared to the same month last year.

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“We are undoubtedly a multifaceted destination,” commented Bartlett.

Another famous pop music celebrity, Shawn Mendez, vacationed in Portland last week, while singer Solange Knowles, sister of pop star Beyoncé, vacationed here earlier this month.

Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova has also recently been visiting Roundhill.

A record 4.3 million combined stopover and cruise tourists visited Jamaica in 2017, despite the high incidence of violence involving rival gangs in communities close to the resort areas which led to the state of public emergency.

Bartlett noted that this represents a 12.1 per cent increase over arrivals in 2016.

“It is the first time that we brought more than 500,000 additional visitors and near US$500 million more in a single calendar year,” he added.