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Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill has said that the newly opened state of the art VIP Lounge, 'Club MOBAY' at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St. James, is expected to position Jamaica as an even more attractive choice for high end and returning tourists.

He was speaking at a ceremony held at the airport on Saturday, December 15, to officially commemorate the start of the 2012 / 2013 Winter Tourist Season, as well as to celebrate the official opening of the VIP Lounge.

"I am pleased that Jamaica is the destination chosen for this first class facility and that it is also a first for the Caribbean.  Club MOBAY is a welcomed addition to the Sangster International Airport and comes at a time when, despite recent challenges from Hurricane Sandy, the industry is robust and ready for business.  You would have to be very lucky to find a room in Montego Bay today.  Occupancy levels are high and projections for the winter tourist season are good.  In fact, year to date, the 2012 figures are ahead of 2011”, Minister McNeill pointed out.

He reported that exciting times were expected for the tourism sector, as come January, the Russian airline Transaero would be taking visitors to the island, thereby opening up a new frontier for Jamaica.

“I am also delighted to see not only the state of the art departure lounge here at Club MOBAY, but the new arrivals lounge that will offer top class service to our visitors.  It is important that the lounge pictorially showcases Jamaica but equally important that we acknowledge the fine work done here, the majority of which was undertaken by Jamaican companies.  Our global destination marketing efforts are strengthened by innovation and new ideas that keep the luxury traveler engaged and interesting in making Jamaica their preferred vacation spot,” Dr. McNeill added.

The Minister later joined the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller and other officials of the Ministry of Tourism and the Jamaica Tourist Board, in welcoming the first visitor/visitors to the island for the start of the 2012/2013 Winter Tourist Season.

Meanwhile, Dr. McNeill commended employees of the Sangster International Airports, Montego Bay and related agencies and departments, for their commitment and dedication to duty and their genuine love for the tourism sector.