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Jamaica Tourism Grows In 2010

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, said that for the six-month period, January to June, earnings from stopover tourists hit US$1.009 billion, registering a 2.4 per cent increase on the half-year intake of 2009.

Speaking at the Jamaica Product Exchange II (JAPEX) conference in Montego Bay, the minister said that for the first time, tourist arrivals exceeded one million visitors in a six-month period - moving from 971,191 in 2009 to 1,010,869 in 2010 - an increase of 4.1 per cent.

Bartlett also said that going by the trend he expected Jamaica to end the financial year with higher tourism growth.

"Despite the continued threats to the industry and fragility of the global recovery currently being experienced, we remain confident that Jamaica will end the year with a modest growth of approximately four per cent," he said.

A June 2010 World Tourism Organisation report estimated that international tourist arrivals for the first six months of this year grew by seven per cent.

"And this trend is expected to continue in the second half of the year, however, at a more moderate rate," Bartlett said.

Jamaica, as part of its strategy to improve the number of arrivals, is focussing on seeking additional business from growing markets in Europe and Latin America. Commenting on this, Bartlett said, "We are encouraged by the signs of recovery in a number of our source markets in Europe, which include Italy, Portugal and Germany. We will continue to work with our tour operators and travel agents in those markets to boost travel." He further added that Jamaica has also "seen a doubling of the number of buyer delegates from both Latin America and Europe which is encouraging and augurs well for the future.

He also said that locally, Jamaica was positioning for new business by diversifying the product and enhancement of the brand “not just with our music festivals and events, but through niche travel - heritage, cuisine, bird watching and faith-based tourism”.

Jamaica has the required infrastructure in place to cater to the needs of the tourists and offers a wide range of Jamaica accommodation comprising private Jamaica villas, cottages and apartments to those looking for a unique and personalised travel experience at very affordable rates.

Jamaica Villas Happenings