Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has lauded travel agents for their contribution towards the increase in the number of visitors to the island last year.
Speaking at the 16th Annual USA Travel Agents Golf Tournament awards ceremony, held at the Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on September 15, the Minister said that last year, tourism earned more for Jamaica in foreign exchange than in the previous five years.
“Similarly, in the single year, we brought more visitors in… than the accumulated increment of visitors for the five years before. All these accomplishments were because of you, and that’s why it is so important for us to let you know how deeply we feel about what you have been doing for Jamaica and how you have helped us over the period,” Mr. Bartlett told the travel agents.
He also highlighted that the travel agents indirectly aided in keeping the job market alive, as “11,000 more jobs were created in the sector last year”.
Meanwhile, Minister Bartlett commended Sandals Resort International and the other hotels for their contribution to making Jamaica a preferred destination among tourists.
The annual golf tournament seeks to foster camaraderie among travel agents from the United States of America and hoteliers, and culminates yearly with an awards ceremony to honour outstanding agents.