China Accords Jamaica ‘Approved Destination Status’


Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has disclosed that Jamaica has been granted “Approved Destination Status” by China, the world’s seventh largest nation of international tourism travellers. He said the development was a major milestone that would open the entire Caribbean region to a potentially new market and a valuable source of new tourism revenue.
Mr. Patterson was speaking on Sunday (Jan. 9) at the Opening Ceremony for Caribbean Marketplace at the Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay.
He said the growth and maturity of the industry in areas such as educational and adventure tourism has brought the region to the forefront of the global tourism market. This the Prime Minister said was reflected in the report of the World Travel and Tourism Council which estimates that the region should have earned US$40.3 Billion from economic activity directly related to tourism in 2004. “This figure includes an anticipated 2.4 million jobs created by tourism representing 15.5 per cent of total employment in the region,” Mr. Patterson said.
The Prime Minister pointed to a number of emerging opportunities for marketing the region including the 2007 Cricket World Cup which will be staged in the region. He said that in planning for the future countries should seek to build smartly and design structures that are not only important for this event, but that will endure for generations to come.
Mr. Patterson cited the establishment of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy as a big step for the region, noting that it will serve among other things, as the platform to launch a major advance of the tourism industry throughout the region. He said Jamaica intends to take advantage of this development by positioning Montego Bay as a gateway to the Caribbean for the rest of the world.

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