Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, declared that the country witnessed its most robust summer season in recorded history with stopover visitors surpassing 800,000.
Bartlett added that including the cruise passenger figures–which is an additional 230,000 – the total number of visitors exceeded one million.
“We earned US$1.5 billion for Jamaica in this summer, the highest and best that we have had,” Bartlett said. He was speaking at the press launch of the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites on September 7.
Bartlett said that by the end of August, Jamaica received a total of 2.7 million visitors. This surge has led to an impressive US$3.1 billion in earnings. “This is the first time in our history that we have broken the US$3-billion mark before the ninth month of the year,” he said, adding that he believes the industry is perfectly poised to reach the US$4 billion revenue mark by the year’s end.”
In addition to its excellent beaches, which are perfect for swimming or just lying in the sun, Jamaica also features numerous natural and cultural attractions. The tropical forests offer spectacular hiking and bird watching. For history lovers, Jamaica features heritage sites in Trelawny, and music fans have many venues in Kingston with musicians providing dancehall and reggae. Montego Bay offers great snorkelling and lots of shopping venues, and Ocho Rios features spas that eliminate any travel stress. Among the best attractions in Jamaica are a visit to a Rastafari village in the countryside to learn about local culture and a trip to Seven-Mile Beach, a stretch of golden sand once frequented by pirates and now enjoyed by beach-goers and sun-worshipers.