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Jamaica Villas Happenings              

2010, A Good Year For Jamaican Tourism

Jamaica recorded an impressive rise in the number of visitors to the island in 2010. Tourism is one of the top three foreign exchange earners for the country and a major employer. Stakeholders in the tourism industry, including private Jamaican rental communities, are happy with the visitor turnout and the steps taken to market the nation’s innovative travel products worldwide.

The Jamaica Tourism Board was recognized as the top Caribbean tourist board and won many other accolades at the World Travel Market. Not only this, Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica's Minister of Tourism was made a Commander of the Order of Civil Merit by Spain for his pivotal role in facilitating several multi-billion dollar investments in Jamaica's tourism sector. He was also voted Man of the Year by the Jamaica Observer newspaper. Under his leadership, Jamaica picked up 16 awards at the World Travel Market.

Jamaica recorded an impressive rise of 7.7 percent in growth of visitor arrival in the third quarter. According to Bartlett, this was the best ever performance for any period within the last five years. The island earned US$1.48 billion from stopover and cruise ship visitor arrivals for the July to September quarter this year, representing a 2.2 per cent increase over the comparative period last year.

The minister has further predicted a rise of up to 5 percent in tourist arrivals during the winter season not withstanding the negative impact by the controversial rise in Air Passenger Duty introduced by Britain for flights to Jamaica.

He also pointed out that the country has till now welcomed more than 1.83 million stop-over visitors - a rise of 3.6 percent on the previous year. The achievement gains all the more significance given the adverse conditions of the global economy and the fact that there was a fall in outbound travel.

There were challenges in terms of tourism being affected by the volcanic ash crisis given that most European travelers come via the UK. The civil unrest which unfolded in Kingston in May also resulted in adverse travel advisories being implemented by a number of countries including the USA and UK. However, the government moved in fast and was successful in pointing out that the unrest was localized to a small part of Kingston - several hours away from the main tourist areas and so despite the advisories, holidaymakers were largely unaffected.

Since then, the tourists from across the globe have continued to drive bookings attracted by Jamaica's value for money and diversity of holiday experiences.

Jamaica as an island has incredible natural beauty, convenient air access, superior accommodation products, greatly supplemented by the private Jamaican rental communities, and a huge range of fantastic attractions that vacationers can enjoy.

Jamaica Villas Happenings