JIS News

Jamaica’s tourist arrivals for the six-month period from January to June 2006 have increased by 17.1 per cent when compared to the same period last year.
Preliminary figures for July 2006 indicate a continuation of this strong growth trend with a 22.5 per cent increase over July 2005.
In June, the United States (US) accounted for the vast majority of visitors to the island, with 124,709 stopover arrivals, representing an increase of 19.8 per cent. The heaviest activity came from the northeast market.
Other non-US markets also showed increases, with 7,877 stopover arrivals from Canada, representing 33.3 per cent growth, while stopover arrivals from Europe was 19,158, an increase of 11.2 per cent.The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has attributed the strong growth to an increase in airlift to the island as well as the considerable increase in Jamaica’s room inventory.
Airlift from the US (which accounts for 70 per cent of the island’s tourist arrivals), on carriers such as Air Jamaica, Spirit Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Continental Airlines, United Airlines, Northwest Airlines, US Airways and American Airlines, has risen dramatically.
The forecast for airline travellers to Jamaica is estimated at 200,000 between May and December 2006. To meet this expected demand, expansion and modernization work is currently being carried out at both the Norman Manley and Sangster International airports in Kingston and Montego Bay, respectively.
Meanwhile, the construction of the Sandals Whitehouse, Riu Ocho Rios and the re-opening of Sunset Jamaica Grande, also in Ocho Rios, plus renovations at the Ritz Carlton and Sunset at the Palms, have resulted in approximately 2,000 additional hotel rooms in Jamaica.
Interim Director of Tourism, Donnie Dawson, praised the efforts of the JTB sales team, which he said, was a key element in the increase in the number of visitors to Jamaica.
“In addition to the various initiatives, including promotions and niche advertising to reach potential travellers, we will continue our programmes of travel agent fly-ins, trade shows and integrated marketing to further the reach of the Jamaican experience to attract future visitors,” he stated.
For questions regarding the new U.S. passport requirements for travel to the Caribbean, please go to www.travel.state.gov.