McNeill: 2013 Will Be “Groundbreaking Year” for Jamaican Tourism

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - December 11, 2012

Above: the Strawberry Hill Hotel & Spa in Jamaica

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaica has earned $1.7 billion USD from tourism so far this year, and 2013 could surpass that number, according to Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill.

The country also saw a 2.4 percent increase in stopover arrivals from January to October, for a total of 1.7 million.

“We anticipate 2013 to be a ground-breaking year for Jamaica, and we will continue to tap new markets for opportunities, while boosting destination marketing efforts in these markets,” he said.

McNeill pointed the new non-stop flight from Moscow that begins Jan. 1 into Montego Bay, along with flight service from the Czech Republic beginning Dec. 28.

In addition, he said there will also be non-stop service from Paris.

“Out of the United Kingdom, we will add another flight from Gatwick, London that will become a weekly service starting in May 2013; while British Airways will maintain its three flights to Kingston, and Virgin Atlantic Airways, its three flights to Montego Bay,” he said.

Part of the improvement has come from a “sustained advertising programme” led by the Jamaica Tourist Board, he said, including a year-long destination wedding campaign and “innovative” social media initiatives.

Jamaica will also be attending upcoming trade and consumer shows, he said, as part of efforts to further boost the country’s tourism product.

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