Jamaica has continued to weather the financial storm over the third quarter, with international arrivals continuing to increase.
A robust tourism sector has seen visitor numbers rise by seven per cent over the three months to September, prompting tourism minister Ed Bartlett to praise the efforts of the sector.
Bartlett said: “Jamaica’s tourism is among the best in the world, which is why we continue to see a growing number of visitors coming to our shores despite the still difficult global economic climate.”
The minister also singled out the world-class tourism product on offer on the island and the sustained marketing efforts of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in international markets as key components of the island’s success.
JTB figures reveal some 642,182 visitors - both stop-over and cruise arrivals - came to Jamaica in the third quarter, compared with 596,438 for the same three-month period in 2009.
This represents an increase of 7.7 per cent, the largest growth in visitor arrivals for any one period since the start of the year.
The country earned US$1.418 billion from stop-over and cruise arrivals from January to August, a 2.2 per cent increase over the same period last year.
To build on the positive growth trend, Bartlett said more effort will be placed on growing arrivals out of Argentina, Brazil, and Columbia as part of a broader emphasis on targeting emerging markets to further grow tourist arrivals.
JTB will be rolling out a marketing campaign in South American region, designed to increase tourist arrivals from the region by four to five per cent.
In the meantime, the minister states Jamaica’s airlift capacity for the upcoming winter tourist season remains at adequate levels; with some 671,002 seats available for the United States and 227,479 seats for Canada – Jamaica’s main markets.