JIS News

While Government is still assessing the impact of what has turned out to be a record-breaking hurricane season, officials at the Port Authority of Jamaica are reporting that the country’s cruise shipping sector has remained relatively unscathed and seems on course to repeat the successes of past seasons.
“It should be as good as last year…we are expecting between 1 million and 1.1 million visitors again this year,” said Robert Stephens, Senior Vice-President of Business Development at the Authority.
Notwithstanding the very active hurricane season, which prevented some ships from coming to the island, Mr. Stephens noted that for the period January to September 2005, 364 cruise ships called on Jamaica’s ports.
“We have had a few instances where we have lost ships, but we have actually gained some as well because other ports have been affected when we have not. Overall, what has happened is that we have kept about the same number as last year. At the end of September 2005, we had a total of 812,000 visitors by cruise ship,” he told JIS News, adding that this was approximately the same figure as last year.
Although there has been a marginal reduction in the number of ships visiting the island, the Vice President pointed out that the vessels coming here are much bigger than in previous years.