Jamaica on track for record year in tourism

KINGSTON, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Jamaica is on track to have a record year in tourism as the island registered a growth of over 5 percent for both tourism earnings and visitor arrivals in the first 10 months of this year.

From January to October 2016, Jamaica recorded tourism earnings of 2.06 billion U.S. dollars, up 5.7 percent over the same period last year, a release from the Ministry of Tourism said Tuesday.

The island also saw an increase of 5.1 percent in visitor arrivals over the same period last year, the release said, adding that growth in both arrivals and earnings came despite significant losses caused by Hurricane Matthew.

"The latest figures are truly proof of the strength of Jamaica's tourism products. We have consistently recorded growth throughout the year, though over 8,000 potential visitors canceled their trips due to the passage of Hurricane Matthew in October," said Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett.

During the first 10 months of 2016, stopover arrivals to Jamaica increased by 2.3 percent over the same period last year, with 1,786,394 visitors, while cruise arrivals increased by 9.1 percent over the same period in 2015, totaling 1,313,841 cruise passengers.

"Our arrival figures and tourism earnings from January to October of this year are very positive and an indicator of the considerable impact tourism is having on the growth agenda. Our tourism earnings continue to outpace our arrivals, which is quite significant. It is clear that we remain on track to have a record year in tourism," said Bartlett.

Latin America and Europe were Jamaica' s strongest potential markets, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

Stopover arrivals from the Latin American market were up by 26.6 percent over the same period last year, with 2,803 visitors, while arrivals out of Europe increased by 10.5 percent, over the same period in 2015 with a total of 21,870 stopover arrivals, the release said.

Tourism is a pillar industry of Jamaica, accounting for about 15 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product and 25 percent of its employment.

[ Editor: Jiaming ]


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