JIS News

Industry and Tourism Minister, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba has said that the majority of the island’s resort areas were up and running, while others were on a speedy recovery path, following the passage of Hurricane Ivan.
In a statement released today (September 16), she noted that Jamaica was blessed with no less than six distinct resort areas, four of which were open for business, along with two fully functional international airports. These areas include Kingston, Port Antonio, Ocho Rios/Runaway Bay and Montego Bay.
According to the Minister, proof of the industry’s health was very visible yesterday (September 15), as the Montego Bay cruise ship port welcomed over 3,000 visitors on Princess Cruise’s ‘Caribbean Princess’, while the Ocho Rios port also welcomed over 3,000 visitors from Royal Caribbean’s ‘Mariner of the Seas’.
“Today, September 16, Ocho Rios welcomes Holland America’s ‘Zuiderdam’, and all scheduled cruise ship visits are back on stream as of next week,” she added.In this regard, the Minister expressed her gratitude to the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) for expressing “such great confidence in Jamaica, in our attractions, and most of all, in our people, by returning all their lines to Jamaica so quickly”.
Over the past two days, Minister Assamba, Prime Minister P. J. Patterson and other tourism officials have visited the South Coast and Negril, the two resort areas that have been hardest hit by Hurricane Ivan.
The Minister noted that both areas were recovering, with Negril already welcoming guests and the others aiming to do so as soon as possible.
While acknowledging that the damage along the South Coast was extensive, the Minister said she felt inspired by the people in those communities, particularly those in Treasure Beach.
“There is such a strong spirit of co-operation and faith among members of that community, that I feel confident that they will soon reclaim their pride of place as a world favourite resort,” she said.The Minister also expressed confidence in the Negril area, having met with tourism officials while on tour yesterday (September 15).
“Negril’s West End suffered the most damage in that area, but the feeling among tourism partners there is not one of despondency. Indeed, they are busy rebuilding in preparation for another hugely successful Winter Tourist Season,” she said.
She noted that the world famous Negril Beach was still intact and the properties along that stretch suffered varying levels of damage.
“What is more, water and electricity have been restored along sections of the Norman Manley Boulevard. We thank the National Water Commission and the Jamaica Public Service for bringing back these services in such a short time,” the Minister added.
The Minister pointed out that all tourism workers were at the forefront of the recovery efforts, having done everything possible to ensure that visitors on the island were safe and taken care of during the hurricane.

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