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  • Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook, is forecasting continued growth for the sector with projections of three per cent and 10 per cent increase in visitor arrivals for 2015 and 2016, respectively.
  • The Tourism Director said that coming out of a successful 2014, Jamaica is continuing on a steady growth path, with preliminary numbers for February 2015 showing that stopover arrivals are up 5.7 per cent.
  • In January 2015, stopover figures were up by 4.3 per cent; and cruise arrivals by 4.1 per cent.

Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook, is forecasting continued growth for the sector with projections of three per cent and 10 per cent increase in visitor arrivals for 2015 and 2016, respectively.

“This would mean an additional 210,000 arrivals in 2016 over 2015 and Jamaica would need an additional 3,300 units to our room inventory by 2016…clearly indicating that the time is right to invest in Jamaica,” Mr. Pennicook said.

He was addressing potential investors at a session of the two-day Jamaica Investment Forum (JIF) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on March 11.

The Tourism Director said that coming out of a successful 2014, Jamaica is continuing on a steady growth path, with preliminary numbers for February 2015 showing that stopover arrivals are up 5.7 per cent.

In January 2015, stopover figures were up by 4.3 per cent; and cruise arrivals by 4.1 per cent.

Jamaica welcomed 2,080,000 stopover visitors last year, representing an increase of 3.6 per cent, while cruise ship arrivals grew by 12.5 per cent to 1.42 million.

Mr. Pennicook said there was growth in arrivals from all but one of the main source markets.

There was a two per cent increase in arrivals from the United States of America (USA) over 2013; Canada recorded growth of 5.2 per cent; Europe grew by 10.7 per cent; while Latin America went down by 4.2 per cent.

The decline in arrivals from Latin America, Mr. Pennicook explained, was due mainly to the World Cup, which took place in Brazil over the summer of 2014. By September, he said, growth resumed from that market.

“The Jamaica Tourist Board continues to aggressively market destination Jamaica in our traditional markets of the US, Canada, UK and Europe. At the same time, we are uncompromising in our efforts to increase our share of new and emerging markets like Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia,” the Director affirmed.