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JTB studying impact of new Cuban relationship with US on Jamaica arrivals

Published:Tuesday | April 14, 2015 | 3:02 PMDaraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
Dr Wykeham McNeill

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is currently undertaking a study on the effects that the opening up of Cuba could have on Jamaica's tourism market, particularly as it relates to visitors from the United States.

Dr Wykeham McNeill, the minister of tourism, said the study will be ready later this year.

"We are taking the matter seriously but we should avoid overreaction and panic and recognise that the Jamaican brand is strong and our product is world class," the minister said as he opened the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives a short while ago.

United States President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro last December announced that the cold war foes will be moving to normalise diplomatic relations.

McNeill said that the move to normalise relations was the right thing to do although there "will be consequences for us".

He further said Jamaica has been competing with Cuba in other markets such as Canada, The United Kingdom, Latin America and Europe.

According to McNeill, in light of the changing situation, "what we must do is up our game while looking at the opportunities and have confidence in Brand Jamaica."