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  • Cruise passenger arrivals are projected to increase to a record 1.4 million passengers this calendar year.
  • "The first four months of this year have shown an increase of 3.6 per cent, representing an impressive recovery from a decline of 4.2 per cent last year,” Minister McNeill said.
  • Similarly, by year end, 2014, there are going to be three cruise ships which will home port in Montego Bay.

Cruise passenger arrivals are projected to increase to a record 1.4 million passengers this calendar year.

“The first four months of this year have shown an increase of 3.6 per cent, representing an impressive recovery from a decline of 4.2 per cent last year,” Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill said.

He was making his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 27.

Dr. McNeill noted that the sector expects cruise arrivals to continue to increase with the arrival of the largest of Disney’s ships, the Fantasy, in addition to MSC Cruises’ Divina, which will be calling throughout the summer.

Similarly, by year end, 2014, there are going to be three cruise ships which will home port in Montego Bay, including the Louis Crystal, the Aida Bella, and the Thomson Dream, he informed.

“While home porting there, the Thomson Dream will also call on the port of Falmouth on the final night of each cruise, allowing Jamaica to get two calls from this cruise ship. All this means is that cruise passengers will fly into Montego Bay and board the ship there to commence their vacation,” the Minister stated.

Dr. McNeill noted that home porting will create more opportunities for local businesses, as these ships will require produce as well as local goods and services.

“Also, the visitors will need to fly into the airport in Montego Bay, and this will generate more airlifts.  In the case of the Thompson Dream, TUI Travel will add four additional flights out of the United Kingdom to service this ship,” Dr. McNeill said.

He added that, historically, up to 30 per cent of passengers who travel certain distances for a cruise, stay for a stopover vacation in the home port country.