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Jazz 'n' Blues Festival spikes tourist arrivals

Published:Monday | February 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Adrian Frater, News Editor

WESTERN BUREAU:

Stakeholders involved in the 14th staging of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival are declaring it a whopping success and have heaped praises on the decision to move the annual festival from Montego Bay to the more spacious and visually enticing US$30-million Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.

"It has turned out to be a great decision," said businessman Walter Elmore, chief executive officer of the promoter, Turnkey Productions. "Everybody likes this new venue. We had a record turnout," he said.

Like Elmore, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, who projected that Jamaica would earn in the region of J$267 million from its J$40 million injection into the festival, was also beaming with satisfaction.

"I think the venue is superb ... it is at a perfect place and I think we should have it here forever," said Bartlett.

"It is perfectly placed in relation to the properties and the rooms between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay and is poised to give the entire north coast an opportunity to benefit."

Bartlett said based on the increased tourist arrivals associated with the festival, the investment had proven to be a wise one.

"I am extremely happy that we are title sponsors ... tourist arrival channelled around the festival over the past few days has been significantly higher that we had anticipated," said the tourism minister.

"In fact, we are now on course to see record arrivals for the month of January."