Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Gov't hoping to reap rewards from visa waiver for Chinese nationals

Published:Friday | November 21, 2014 | 3:29 PM

Tourism Minister, Dr Wykeham McNeil says the recent removal of the visa requirement for Chinese tourists to vacation the island is expected to play a major role in attracting nationals from that country.



Speaking at the 2014 Tourism Outlook Seminar, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in Rose Hall, St James, on November 20, the Minister said Jamaica is aiming to attract more of the millions of Chinese nationals who travel on vacation each year.



McNeil says this would significantly boost the local industry.



He says the decision to remove the visa restrictions for Chinese holiday seekers was taken based on the result of a recent study, which showed that this action would result in more visitors coming to the island.



He says other measures to ensure 'travel facilitation' are being taken by the Government, such as making the airports more customer-friendly.



McNeill is reporting that Jamaica remains on target to welcome more than two million stopover visitors this year.



According to McNeill, at present, arrivals are up by some four per cent over last year.



In 2013, Jamaica welcomed more than two million stopover arrivals and 1.4 million cruise ship visitors.



This pushed the total tourist arrivals to around 3.5 million.



The tourism minister has asserted that given the positive arrival numbers so far, it is clear that the tourism sector is poised for further growth.



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