The who’s who of travel and tourism are heading to Jamaica for tonight’s World Travel Awards 2010 The Americas Ceremony. Sandals Whitehouse is making the final preparations ahead of what promises to be the biggest night of the year travel and tourism in the region.
With the recovery in the Caribbean now firmly established, Jamaica has emerged as the regional leader. The luxury destination expects to welcome more visitors in 2010 than ever before, with Breaking Travel News’s Chris O’Toole here taking a look why.
Out of every crisis, there’s an opportunity, and Jamaicans - while clearly unhappy with the recent “Dudus developments” that brought chaos to a section of the capital, Kingston - are finding a silver lining in the clouds of chaos that negatively impacted the nation over the past several weeks.
Jamaica Tourist Board has reassured the travel trade that the main tourism areas remain unaffected by the violence in its capital, Kingston. Director of Tourism John Lynch said: “Travellers to the areas of Jamaica including Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio, Negril and the South Coast are some four hours away from the area of concern.”
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has vowed to restore order after fighting between police, the military and drug gangs claimed the lives of at least 60 people in Kingston. However the tourism areas on the north coast remain unaffected and well isolated from the trouble hotspots.
Street violence in Jamaica over the planned extradition of a gang leader to the U.S. could deter tourists as well as harm the economic recovery, the head of Jamaica’s Chamber of Commerce has warned.
Following a steady increase in global market share last year, tourism chiefs in Jamaica are expecting the trend to continue into 2010. AirTran has also fostered optimism on the island, launching a series of new departures to the Caribbean holiday destination.
Despite a global drop in the number of holiday travellers, Jamaica has managed not only to keep but raise its market share, posting worldwide visitor figures that show a 3.6 per cent rise.
Jamaica’s Minister for Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, is predicting a 6% growth in tourism arrivals to the island this year, almost twice that recorded last year. He attributed this to the time and resources spent putting the infrastructure in place to grow the travel and tourism sector, including deliberate strategies to increase air capacity.
The world’s fastest man, sprinting superstar Usain Bolt is to feature in a new TV commercial as part of Jamaica’s “Once You Go, You Know” campaign.
Edmund Bartlett , Minister of Tourism for Jamaica talks to Breaking Travel News.
In the first of a series of interviews ahead of Caribbean Marketplace 2010, BTN talks to the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister for Tourism on his plans for 2010.