The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) said on Wednesday that the island continues to experience significant tourism growth.
The JTB said Jamaica celebrated an overall market growth of 5.4 percent for the first six months of the year, with stopover tourist arrivals increasing by 5.9 percent and cruise arrivals by 4.8 percent over the same period last year.
For the period January to June 2018, the JTB said Jamaica recorded over 1.25 million stopover arrivals and over 1 million cruise arrivals.
“This means the island welcomed over 100,000 more tourists year-on-year and earned a sizeable increase in foreign exchange earnings,” the JTB said.
It said stopover arrivals accounted for US$1.459 billion in earnings and cruise accounted for US$100.6 million, totaling US$1.556 billion, which represents an increase of 7.3 percent.
“Quick, decisive and sustained initiatives led by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett and Director of Tourism Donovan White, successfully mitigated the possible negative outcomes that could have resulted from the enhanced security measures implemented in the parish of St. James in January of this year,” the JTB said.
Bartlett told a press conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in the Parish of St. James that “the strong on-the-ground marketing engagements which brought us face to face with key stakeholders here and around the world, have helped to not only stave off any fallout from these measures but also increased growth in arrivals to our shores.”
He said that while the implementation of enhanced security measures “did stir a whirlwind of concerns locally and internationally, several overseas partners welcomed the initiative as a necessary step and continue to support our nation’s security apparatus in their efforts to make Jamaica a safe place for all.”
Speaking about the marketing activities that were engaged to keep Jamaica top of mind, White said that “it has been all hands on deck, as teams locally and overseas spread the message of destination Jamaica’s commitment to providing exciting and authentic experiences to all visitors.
“As we ramp up our digital marketing strategies among a range of other initiatives, we are confident that the value of our tourism product will continue to attract visitors,” he said.