JIS News

With Jamaica considered the preferred Caribbean destination by tourists and cruise passengers, and the many infrastructural developments taking place at the country’s airports and shipping ports, tourism is on the right track and is poised for greater economic gains.
This view was expressed by Western Chairman of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, Lee Bailey, as he spoke with JIS News on May 5 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay.
He was attending Rotary International’s one week conference in Jamaica, with delegates from the United States of America, Canada and the Caribbean participating.
Mr. Bailey noted that a window of opportunity was opened for Jamaica’s tourism after the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.
“One important thing that we are losing sight of is to sustain the present tourism product, and how we do that, especially in the cruise industry, is to continue to improve the product, continue to market it and continue to remarket the cruise passengers. We must be able to devise a method in order to expose those passengers to our hotels and activities, and simply entice them to return to the country,” he stressed.
Alluding to the developments at the ports, Mr. Bailey said this was significant for the growth of tourism. Meanwhile, President of Florida Cruise Shipping Association, Michelle Page, told the Rotarians that the potential for the cruise industry was huge.
“The cruise industry, while it lacks the colour, culture and history of many destinations, can boast that in the last 24 years, over 90 million passengers have taken a multi-day cruise vacation. Overall, since 1980 the industry has had a compound annual growth of 8.4 per cent per year. This consumer response results from the fact that cruising delivers a high quality of very satisfying vacation experience,” Miss Page said.
She observed that not every destination could have “volcanoes, glaciers, castle or Dunn’s River Falls”, but that all destinations could make the best of the attractions they possessed.
“I believe that the industry’s growth and potential provide ample incentive to everyone to appreciate their cruise segment and to work to maximize its economic contribution,” Miss Page said.

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