Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Bartlett projecting cruise passenger growth

Published:Sunday | January 28, 2018 | 2:35 PM
In this September 26, 2012 photo, the Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship is docked in Falmouth, northern Jamaica as street vendors sell clothes, souvenirs and other goods to tourists.

Jamaica's tourism minister is projecting growth in cruise arrivals this year, even as concerns mount internationally about the island's crime rate.

In a release to the media today, Edmund Bartlett said the feedback from cruise officials in Miami, Florida is that they are keen on deepening their relationship with Jamaica in 2018.

Based on the positive feedback, Bartlett says he is confident that cruise passenger arrivals will increase this year.

“I am confident that our cruise industry will see great improvements in this New Year based on the positive feedback I have received from cruise industry leadership and potential investors, so far," the tourism minister said.

“The projections for 2018 looks very promising and our partners remain excited about Jamaica’s tourism product," he added.

Bartlett’s trip to the United States also forms part of the tourism ministry’s new initiative to assure key stakeholders from important markets in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada that Jamaica is still a vibrant vacation choice, despite the state of public emergency in the parish of St James.

“We had the full endorsement of Royal Caribbean, in terms of understanding the nature of the actions that have been taken by the Government of Jamaica. They support the moves being made by Jamaica and shared there is need for the kind of action that Jamaica has taken in terms of proactivity,” Bartlett stated in the media release.

The tourism minister said Royal Caribbean is demonstrating this by "giving us support which will ensure that all their vessels, including the Oasis-class, will make their calls and the seamless and safe arrangements that have been in place to facilitate their guests over time will continue".