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Jamaica Adding New Automated Passport Kiosks

doctors cave beach with waves

Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

In a a bid to expedite processing at two of the Caribbean’s busiest airports, Jamaica is adding new automated passport control kiosks in Kingston and Montego Bay. 

The new kiosks aim to “streamline passenger flow,” according to a statement from the Jamaica Tourist Board. 

“They will provide additional convenience for stopover visitors by speeding up processing times through the immigration halls,” said Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett. “This will provide a more seamless airport experience as we progress through our peak winter season, during which we expect to welcome record-breaking arrivals.”

The kiosks use biometric technology to authenticate passengers, scanning passports and then taking a photo of the passengers face. 

That is then compared to the digital image stored in the passport’s microchip. 

It’s an alternative to the typically time-intensive process of having immigration officers check individual passengers. 

“The installation of automated kiosks for passport control at our airports is an excellent use of modern technology to improve the overall passenger experience at Jamaica’s airports, which is important as we continue to grow arrivals to the destination,” said Donovan White, Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board. “Visitors’ first impressions of Jamaica’s overall tourism product take place upon landing, so we are glad to soon be able to enhance them.”

Jamaica says it plans to have as many as 100 such kiosk by the end of 2024. 

Several Caribbean destinations have already implemented the practice, most notably Aruba, which has long been at the forefront of improving the visitor experience in the Caribbean.

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