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  • Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill says that 2014 has been “a very good year” for tourism in Jamaica.
  • He said that November 2014 “has gone down as the best November Jamaica has ever had” with arrivals showing an increase of more than six per cent for the month.
  • July saw a record 221,000 stopover arrivals, the largest that the country has ever seen in a single month.

Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill says that 2014 has been “a very good year” for tourism in Jamaica.

He said that November 2014 “has gone down as the best November Jamaica has ever had” with arrivals showing an increase of more than six per cent for the month. July saw a record 221,000 stopover arrivals, the largest that the country has ever seen in a single month.

The Minister was addressing the 13th Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (STAR) awards held on December 9, at the Sandals Grande Riviera Beach and Villa Golf Resort in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.

He noted that arrivals for the year are up over three per cent over 2013, and “we are now certain that we will once again pass the 3 million mark,” in terms of stopover and cruise passengers.

Last year, for the first time, Jamaica welcomed over 2 million stopover visitors to the island.

“This year has been a very good year for Jamaica… we are doing very well,” Dr. McNeill said.

The Minister praised the work of Sandals’ employees, noting that they are contributing to Jamaica’s success in the hospitality industry.

He noted that the success that Sandals and Jamaica enjoy is largely due to the hard work of the local and overseas travel agents as well as the on-site employees at all the hotels in the Sandals chain.

Dr. McNeill said it is important for the overseas travel agents to come to Jamaica and get firsthand knowledge of the tourism product in order to be able to effectively sell destination Jamaica.

He also commended Chairman of the Sandals Group, Gordon “Butch” Stewart for his vision in refining and rebranding the resorts and products in order for Sandals and Jamaica to remain attractive in the marketplace.

“They have done wonders …Sandals is the largest chain in the Caribbean,  the largest indigenous chain here in Jamaica…apart from everything else, apart from running a good business, they have been good corporate citizens here in Jamaica. When an organization is involved in the community and is involved in the development of their workers and staff, it really makes a difference. Among the best workers in the tourist industry are those persons employed to Sandals,” he stated.

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