Carnival draws record numbers to the island
The Ministry of Tourism, has reported a 14.1 per cent increase in visitor arrivals to Jamaica in the first week of April, ahead of the carnival celebrations, in comparison to the same period last year. Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica welcomed a whopping 51,384 visitors, many of whom he believes came to participate in the festivities.
According to the figures released by the Jamaica Tourist Board, for the period of April 1 — 7, 2018, Kingston alone had over 9,000 visitors, which is a 22.8 per cent increase over 2017.
These numbers represent, he says, “Undoubtedly, one of the strongest weeks in arrivals so far in 2018.”
In a press release issued to The GLEANER, Bartlett said, “We have been putting measures in place to transform the local carnival experience. There is an even broader effort to enhance and package various local entertainment offerings to attract more visitors to the island, especially to Kingston.”
He added, “Thanks to this targeted marketing approach, arrivals in the capital have been in double digits since the Carnival in Jamaica initiative began.”
The Ministry of Tourism acquired the brand Carnival in Jamaica last year. This is in keeping with the Ministry’s mandate to enhance seasonal events, including Carnival, through its Tourism Linkages Network.
According to Kamal Bankay, chairperson of the Sports and Entertainment Network of the Tourism Linkages Council, there was a record attendance of about 6000 revellers between all three bands — Xodus, Xaymaca and Bacchanal.
He also noted that Sunday’s road march was virtually incident-free.
“So far, I think the feedback has been largely positive, with revellers anticipating the next round,” Bankay said. “With the overwhelming support for lead up events along with the large group of spectators on the day, we can safely say the interest in Carnival was at its highest level ever.”
He says that the council is extremely impressed with the exponential growth of Carnival; the input of both the public and private sector added to creating a product never seen before. The major thrust was to try and make Carnival in Jamaica more attractive to tourists — and it did.