Jamaica is projecting solid tourism growth in 2010. Speaking at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Caribbean Marketplace 2010 travel trade event, which opened this week in Puerto Rico, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett reported that preliminary figures show that the island’s arrivals increased by four percent in 2009. According to forecasts, arrivals are expected to register a six percent increase in 2010. Minister Bartlett attributed this growth to the foundation the Jamaica Tourist Board and its tourism partners have built over the last few years.
“We have spent time and resources putting the infrastructure in place to grow tourism, including deliberate strategies to increase air capacity, which has been a tremendous tool to enable arrivals,” said Minister Bartlett as he mingled with delegates on the CHA Marketplace trade floor at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Convention Center Hotel & Casino. “People come to Jamaica to pursue a wide variety of interests and to fulfill those needs that they have, including visiting attractions, shopping, health and wellness, and spiritual revitalization.”
Cruise arrivals registered a decline in 2009, however with the redeployment of vessels from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean and the expansion of port capacity in Jamaica, numbers are expected to increase by five percent this year.
Minister Bartlett explained that his vision for 2010 is about “newness” as a new travel industry emerges from the recession of 2009, calling for greater efficiencies based on the need for competitive pricing and high value. He noted that the creativity of Jamaica’s tourism industry must expand to find new ways, processes and systems. Jamaica will continue to explore new markets, new technologies to drive efficiency and seek new investments to increase and diversify the range of experiences the visitor seeks.