Visitor Arrivals Increase By 5.5 Percent

Photo: Marlon Tingling Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller (centre) speaks with Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Hon. Gordon “Butch” Stewart (right) and Chief Executive Officer, of Sandals Resorts International Adam Stewart at the 14th annual Travel Awards staged by the company at Sandals Whitehouse Resort in Westmoreland on Saturday December 5. The awards are staged to recognize top Sandals Travel Agents each year.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says there was a 5.5 per cent increase in visitor arrivals in Jamaica between January and September of this year, with the country welcoming some 1.6 million tourists.
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller said the increase in arrivals is as a result of the hard work being done by Travel Partners, especially the over 800 who sell Jamaican vacations on behalf of Sandals.
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller also pointed out that as an expression of confidence in Jamaica, investments in the tourism sector has been flowing in with over J$64-Billion being pumped in by local and foreign investors since 2012.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says there was a 5.5 per cent increase in visitor arrivals in Jamaica between January and September of this year, with the country welcoming some 1.6 million tourists.

She was speaking at Sandals Whitehouse Resort in Westmoreland on Saturday, (December 5) at the 14th annual Star Awards staged by Sandals Resorts International for its Travel Partners.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said the increase in arrivals is as a result of the hard work being done by Travel Partners, especially the over 800 who sell Jamaican vacations on behalf of Sandals.

“We thank you for your contribution to the 5.5 per cent increase in visitor arrivals in Jamaica between January and September of this year. This year, Jamaica recorded the best September ever in terms of arrivals. We welcome the increased business out of the United States and the United Kingdom markets,” she stated.

She also pointed out that ahead of the start of the 2015/16 Winter Tourist Season, Jamaica has secured thousands of new airline seats, which is being complimented by an increase in the island’s hotel room stock.

“Jamaica has secured an additional 60,000 airlift seats and these will come on stream for the 2015/2016 Winter Tourist Season which starts in a few days time. With the increase in airlifts, we are increasing our room stock. To this end, many new and refurbished rooms are now coming on stream,” the Prime Minister said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller also pointed out that as an expression of confidence in Jamaica, investments in the tourism sector has been flowing in with over J$64-Billion being pumped in by local and foreign investors since 2012.

“This latest wave of investments is an expression of confidence in Jamaica by both local and international investors. It is also a concerted effort by government to create the environment that attracts and fosters premium investments in the tourism sector,” she commented.

The Prime Minister is also commending Sandals Resorts International, (SRI) for the role the company has played in investing in the hospitality trade and employees in an effort to take the sector to yet another level.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said the company has been making major strides in the marketplace in not only ensuring the vibrancy of the tourism sector and that brand Jamaica remains a hot destination cross the world, but also in the provision of thousands of jobs locally and in the Caribbean.

“It has been fascinating to watch the steady growth of the Sandals Group. Not just over the life of the resort chain, but especially in the past 18 months…In recent years, Sandals has invested more than US$150 million to upgrade their properties in Jamaica. Similar upgrading and expansions have been taking place throughout the Caribbean,” she stated.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also praised the over 800 of Sandals Travel Partners who attended the awards for their efforts in not only selling Sandals and Beaches, but Jamaica in the international marketplace.

“Tonight we thank you Travel Agents from around the world for transforming these images into a vibrant business for Sandals and Jamaica. You are indeed the stars of tonight’s event. You are the real stars in the heavens, the paradise, the dreamland of the Sandals experience worldwide,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

The Prime Minister added that the work of the Travel Agents, support Jamaica’s reputation as the Caribbean’s leading tourism destination.

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