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JIS News

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is reporting that earnings from visitor arrivals and visitor spending have surpassed projections for the first three quarters of the year.
Preliminary estimates from the agency have revealed that gross foreign exchange earnings have reached US$1.4 billion for the period January to September 2006. According to the agency, this is a difference of 24.6 per cent above the total for the corresponding period in 2005, reflecting record growth in visitor arrivals and visitor spending.
For the first nine months of 2006, stopover arrivals grew by 17.2 per cent to reach 1.3 million, exceeding targeted expectations by 6.4 per cent. The cruise passenger market segment continues to show robust growth as well, reflecting a 15 per cent increase during January to September 2006, with a total of 950,329 cruise passenger arrivals.
Jamaica continues to experience strong visitor arrivals with most months showing double digit increases, when compared to the same period in 2005. For July 2006 in particular, there were more than 180,000 stop over arrivals, the highest volume ever in any single month.
Interim Director of Tourism, Donald Dawson, attributed these impressive figures to, “factors such as new room inventory, increased air lift, the hard work of our partners in the marketplace and aggressive promotional initiatives including sales blitzes and heightened public relations activities implemented by the JTB”.
According to Mr. Dawson, “we are looking to continue this growth as we support our sales efforts with an informative and educational campaign encouraging all Americans to apply for their passports in compliance with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.”
As part of the campaign, visitors, who travel to Jamaica after January 8, 2007 and have Jamaica stamped as the first port of entry in their new passport, will receive special credits during their stay. These credits include hotel services such as spa treatments, golf green fees, attraction tour fees, room upgrades, extra nights, gift shop and photo shop purchases.
Participating hotels will offer the various incentives through to December 2007. The services and amenities provided will equal the U.S. dollar amount spent on each new passport, which is, US$97 per adult and US$82 per child. Details on participating hotels and passport information are available @ www.visitjamaica.com/rewards.
For questions regarding the new U.S. passport requirements for travel to the Caribbean, please go to www.travel.state.gov.