MOTEGO BAY — Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, is reporting a 5.7 per cent increase in visitor arrivals for January to August of this year, when compared to the similar period in 2010.
The figures are showing 2,098,964 arrivals up to August, compared to 1,985,784 for last year.
Minister Bartlett, who was addressing the opening of Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) 2011 on September 18 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall., St. James, said expectations are that for the first time since 2006, visitor arrivals will exceed the three million mark.
He said that the increase in arrivals has boosted earnings, with income for the period growing by approximately 3.4 per cent up to US$1.5 billion.
Minister Bartlett credited the positive developments, to, among other things, the diversification of the tourism market. “It is going into new markets and to look particularly to the areas that are defined today as the growing economies of the world”, he noted.
He mentioned countries in Central American as among those being targeted under the diversification initiative, while informing of planned exploits into Eastern Europe, Asia, China and India.
JAPEX, regarded as the premier trade event for the Jamaican tourism sector, provides the opportunity for several wholesalers, travel agents and tour operators from across the globe, to meet with the island’s leading tourism suppliers to conduct business negotiations and finalise agreements.
This year’s event, from September 18 to 20, has attracted a record number of buyers and sellers.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter