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With a record 12,000 cruise passengers arriving at the Montego Bay and Ocho Rios Ports on day one of the 2010 Winter Tourist Season, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett is expressing optimism that the season will be “very successful.”
“The 2010/11 Winter Tourist Season has started with a bang. Against the background of a seven per cent increase in the first two weeks of December, the season begins today with 6,000 cruise passengers in the Montego Bay Port and 6,000 in Ocho Rios, a grand total of 12,000. That certainly is the largest number of cruise arrivals we have had in a day for quite a while,” the Minister said.
Mr. Bartlett was addressing guests at a ceremony to celebrate the commencement of this year’s Winter Tourist Season and to officially welcome the first arriving passengers for the season, at the Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay, on December 15.
The Minister said that the expectation for the season is a five per cent increase over the figure for last year.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (centre), and Director General in of the Ministry, Carrole Guntley (right), welcome the first arriving passengers for the 2010 Winter season, at a ceremony to mark the official start of the season, at the Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay, on December 15. From left are: Mrs. Jennifer Murray, Mr.
Dennis Murray, and his mother, Ms Pauline Murray.

“Today is a very strong beginning, as we also have the start of the new shopping arrangements, which will allow for incoming passengers to purchase duty-free items, and for a wider range of goods to be available duty-free in Jamaica. The implication in all of this is to enable greater spending, and for the tourist to have options and choices to buy more and to generate more revenues for the economy of the country,” he said.
The Minister said that the large number of cruise ship arriving passengers was but “a taste of the expected success” of the new shipping pier in Falmouth, come January 2011.
“This is a guide as to what it is going to look like when you have some 7,000 passengers and crew coming off at Falmouth,” he said.
Mr. Bartlett along with other executive members of the Ministry and the Jamaica Tourist Board had a special welcome for the first arriving passengers of the season, Ms. Pauline Murray, her son Dennis Murray and his wife, Jennifer Murray, who came in on Jet Blue Airlines from Orlando, Florida.