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  • Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says Jamaica recorded a 5.5 per cent increase in visitor arrivals for the nine-month period between January and September 2015.
  • Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) statistics show that arrivals totalled just over 1.6 million during the period.
  • The Minister noted that this is approximately 38,000 more than the corresponding period in 2014. He added that this year’s figure also includes increased cruise ship visitor arrivals, which were 105,000 more than last year.

Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says Jamaica recorded a 5.5 per cent increase in visitor arrivals for the nine-month period between January and September 2015.

Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) statistics show that arrivals totalled just over 1.6 million during the period.

The Minister noted that this is approximately 38,000 more than the corresponding period in 2014. He added that this year’s figure also includes increased cruise ship visitor arrivals, which were 105,000 more than last year.

Dr. McNeill was speaking at the weekly Kingston Rotary Club luncheon, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, on November 19.

The Minister welcomed the increased visitor arrivals, particularly out of the United States, where “we have seen a rebound.”  He said this is “very good, because it’s such an important market to us.”

He also highlighted notable increases in arrivals out of the United Kingdom, which had declined as a result of the global economic downturn, and issues with the Air Passenger Duty (APD), among others.

Meanwhile, Dr. McNeill advised that Jamaica has secured an additional 60,000 airlift seats that will come on stream for the upcoming 2015/16 Winter Tourist Season, which starts on December 15. Of this number, the Minister said over 50,000 originate in the United States.

The airlines involved include: Frontier Airways, which will channel flights out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; American Airlines, which will have flights out of Los Angeles, California; and Southwest, which will schedule daily flights out of Houston, Texas.

“When you take into consideration that next year, we are going to be bringing direct flights from (places) like Dublin (in the Republic of Ireland) to Montego Bay, we are really opening up…the possibilities for Jamaica,” the Minister said.