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Tourism minister: 1.2m airlift seats secured for 2015 summer stopovers

Published:Saturday | December 13, 2014 | 12:12 PM

Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Dr Wykeham McNeill, says that 1.2 million airlift seats have so far been secured for stopover arrivals for the 2015 summer season.



He said all the main source markets are showing increases in airlift. “The United States is up 58,000 seats and there is an overall increase of approximately 163,000 seats to Jamaica,” he informed.



Minister McNeill was speaking at a Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry luncheon at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Thursday, where he announced some positive developments for the 2015 tourist season.



He informed that foreign exchange earnings from the tourism industry are projected to rise by 4.6 per cent, while cruise passenger arrivals are estimated to increase by five per cent to 611,500 passengers for the 2015 winter season.



“This follows an expected 10 per cent increase in cruise arrivals this year … we have had growth in arrivals in all three main ports this year,” he noted.



Meanwhile, the Tourism and Entertainment Minister said the 2014 winter season, which begins on December 15, is expected to receive a significant boost from the home porting of three cruise ships in Jamaica.



These will be the Thompson Dream, the Ida Bella and the Louis Cristal. “The advantage of the Thompson Dream home porting in Montego Bay will be that we will also get four additional flights coming out of the United Kingdom into the Sangster International Airport,” he pointed out.



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