Jamaica's tourism earnings are to remain under US$2 billion this year even as tourism officials predict a robust winter season which is expected to push stopover arrivals to over two million.
Minister of Tourism, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says despite the numerous challenges faced by the island over the past year, he anticipates that the country should welcome a record two million stopover visitors and earn close to US$2 billion this year. This is expected to be below the US$1.98 billion earned in 2010 when 1.9 million tourists visited the island.
In his message marking the start of the Winter Tourist Season, which begins today, McNeill says he’s optimistic about the prospects for this season and that Jamaica is on track for a good winter tourist season.
He noted that preliminary estimates for January through to November show that Jamaica has welcomed over 1.8 million stopover visitors. According to him, the tourism ministry is encouraged by the number of advanced bookings and the excitement that brand Jamaica still generates in both traditional and non-traditional markets.
McNeill also points to encouraging prospects in the cruise tourism industry. He says Jamaica is anticipating growth for 2014 with a projection of 1.4 million cruise ship visitors, which would make it a record year.
The tourism minister is also urging all Jamaicans to support and enhance Jamaica’s tourism sector, which he says attracts millions of visitors from around the world and brings in millions of much needed foreign exchange annually.
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