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Jamaica proves resilient in downturn

Jamaica’s tourism industry continues to prove resilient to the downturn, posting a 2 percent increase in visitor arrivals in February, on top of a 3.9 percent rise in overall visitors in 2008.

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, said the Canadian market is particularly strong with double-digit growth, and the U.S. is showing a strong recovery.Flights to Jamaica will increase this summer, Bartlett said. Delta will increase its flights from Atlanta to four a week from the current three, and American will add additional service from Miami where it now has daily flights to Montego Bay and Kingston.

He also reported that Air Jamaica is on target for its March 31 sale by the government with a possible three potential purchasers.

Mr. Bartlett is also hoping the current tourism budget of $15 million will be increased in the new fiscal year, which begin on 1 April.