Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the accomplishments of the Jamaican athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games have already begun to show real results for the country's tourism prospects.
"Already, our partners in England have said to us that the post-Olympic bookings out of Britain are impressive and in cases where we were trailing behind seven points in our bookings, we are now eight per cent ahead of those bookings, going forward," he informed.
Dr. McNeill made the disclosure during a press briefing, held at Jamaica House on October 3, at which the Government announced plans to honour the country’s athletes during a grand homecoming celebration over the Heritage Weekend.
The Minister expressed gratitude to the Olympians for their tremendous performances during the 2012 Games, noting that they were the 'toast of the town' in London.
Jamaica had a record haul of 12 medals in London – four gold, four silver and four bronze – topping by one, its accomplishments at the Beijing Games in 2008.
"We really have to thank our athletes who have been such great ambassadors for Jamaica over the years. Most recently in London, our athletes were the 'toast of the town'," the Minister said.
Dr. McNeill said the government was able to convert the achievements of the athletes in London to tangible benefits for the tourism sector.
"What we were able to do in Jamaica House (at the O2 Arena in London) to focus the attention placed on our athletes (on brand Jamaica), has really paid off. It was a good thing that had been done there, and we are now seeing the benefits," he said.