JIS News

Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says cruise ship visitor arrivals to Jamaica are projected to surpass the 1.4 million mark by the end of 2014, for the first time.

This is based on the port of call itinerary of a number of cruise lines, whose ships are scheduled to dock in Jamaica.

Making his 2013/14 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House on July 3, under the theme: ‘A Sector for the People: Making Tourism for Us All’, Dr. McNeill said Jamaica will, this year, for the first time, welcome Disney Cruises out of the United States.

He informed that the cruise line, slated to dock at the Falmouth pier in Trelawny, will be bringing both the Disney Wonder and Fantasy brands, with the former making its inaugural trek in October this year. The Minister described the introduction of such a strong brand as “tremendous” for Jamaica.

“We are also concentrating on home porting, and Montego Bay will see the AIDA Bella as well as the Louis Cristal Cuba Cruises home porting there, starting in November and December of this year, respectively,” he told the House of Representatives.

Dr. McNeill also had good news for Ocho Rios, St. Ann, as he announced that come 2014, the port will welcome, for the first time, Norwegian Epic, as well as the return of Royal Caribbean.

While noting that cruise ship arrivals increased by 17.3 per cent in 2012, the Minister said Jamaica expects to end 2013 “marginally down”.

“But, we have to view this in the context of two phenomenal years of growth after the opening of the Falmouth pier. I have every confidence that the tourism sector will meet the expectations we are placing on it, as the path ahead continues to offer promise of further growth, and destination Jamaica retains its international competitive edge,” Dr. McNeill said.

Contact: Douglas McIntosh.