Record Number of Canadians Visited During Winter Season


Over 130,000 Canadian visitors came to Jamaica during the 2009/10 winter tourist season, representing an increase of some 11 per cent over the same period of the previous season.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said this is the “strongest numbers” ever for Canadian visitors to Jamaica. He was speaking with a group of Canadian travel partners recently in Toronto.
The Minister said during the recent unrest in Jamaica, the tourism infrastructure remained unaffected and continues to be open to serve Canadian travellers.
“Despite some of the concerns last month, we have had a healthy spring and we have good indications for the summer,” Mr. Bartlett told the group.
Reminding the travel partners that Jamaica is a safe destination for tourists, the Minister said the statistics reflected this fact, noting that crime against visitors is 0.1 per cent.
“Every year Jamaica welcomes millions of visitors from around the world, and the overwhelming majority of these visitors experience festivals, events, attractions and shopping completely free from incident,” he explained.
Giving an update on Jamaica’s tourism, Mr. Bartlett said growth, which has blossomed over the last decade, has continued. He also noted that Jamaica offers more attractions than any other Caribbean destination.
Turning to the Montego Bay Convention Centre, which is expected to be completed by January, the Minister said it is being designed as a modern state of the art facility, capable of hosting large and small meetings, conferences, exhibitions, banquets and other events.
“We will be able to host large groups of Canadians, like never before. The highly anticipated facility is being built on 35 acres of land, and is aimed at strengthening Jamaica’s participation in the growing groups and convention market,” Mr. Bartlett noted.
On the matter of Jamaica’s two international airports, the Minister pointed out that they have both undergone upgrades.
“Jamaica is ready to welcome more visitors than ever before; process them efficiently and ensure that their vacation begins and ends with the high standard of excellence which they have come to know and expect from Jamaica,” he said.
Accompanying the Minister were Director of Tourism and Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), John Lynch; Executive Director of Jamaica Vacations (JAMVAC), Lionel Reid; Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, George Ramocan; and JTB’s Regional Director for Canada, Sandra Scott.

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