Jamaica’s Tourism Industry Records First Ever 1-Billion Visitors!

Kingston, Jamaica - October 21, 2010 -- Jamaica’s tourism industry continues to show buoyancy as for the first time, arrivals exceeded one million visitors in the first six months of 2010. The period January 1 to June 30, saw a record 1,010,869 visitors arriving in Jamaica, an increase of 4.1% over the 971,191 arrivals for the same six months of 2009. The increase in visitor arrivals also resulted in record earnings for Jamaica with the country raking in US $1,009.3M, 2.4% more than was earned between January and June of 2009. Meanwhile, for the period under review, cruise passenger arrivals fell by 12.1 % from 550,924 in 2009 to 484,234. Earnings for the period was US$39.6M, a reduction of 17 %. A summary of Jamaica’s tourism performance for the period January to June was 1,495,103 arrivals, a 1.8 percent decrease over the same period in 2009 and gross Foreign Exchange Earnings of US$1,048.9M, a net increase of 1.6 percent. In commenting on the figures, Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett said “The increased arrivals and earnings come at a time when the worldwide recession was taking a toll on economies of the world and during a period when Jamaica had its own civil challenges. Nonetheless, I am pleased with the out-turn and must give credit to the team at the Jamaica Tourism Board, JTB, Jamaica Vacations Limited, JAMVAC and all who have played a part in the marketing of destination Jamaica”. Minister Bartlett continued “That major improvements and additions to the product offerings and the fact that our Tourism Partners have supported the overseas promotional programmes gave Jamaica a much-needed edge in attracting visitors to our shores and I am extremely proud of the results. I am also expecting the figures for the rest of the calendar year to be very good based on the fact that July was a record month, August performed well, as did September and October is also expected to give positive returns”. For further information, please contact: Kingsley Roberts Director, Corporate Communications, Ministry of Tourism, 64 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5. Tel: 920-4926-30, ext: 5942 Cell: 322-9871,Fax: 920-4944