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Jamaica Reports Increase In 2009 Tourist Arrivals

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Jamaica welcomed more than 1.8 million visitors worldwide in 2009, a 3.6 percent increase over 2008, making it the only English speaking Caribbean destination to experience a growth in visitor arrivals for the year. The destination experienced growth in its two largest markets, an impressive 22.9 percent increase in Canadian visitors and a 1.9 percent increase in American visitors.

“A growth of any percentage in tourism arrivals is remarkable given the economic hardships faced worldwide last year,” said Jamaica’s Director of Tourism John Lynch. “The increased number of U.S. and Canadian visitors is due to the Jamaica Tourist Board’s efforts to create awareness of the destination’s accessibility, affordability and outstanding variety of accommodations and attractions. We will continue our aggressive efforts into 2010, conceiving new and innovative ways to nurture growth.”

The destination welcomed an impressive number of new flights recently, and effective Feb. 11 will be served by all major U.S. carriers with the launch of AirTran Airways nonstop service from Atlanta, Baltimore and Orlando. In the last year Jamaica welcomed new nonstop service from JetBlue out of New York (JFK), Boston and on Feb. 8, 2010 from Orlando. In December 2009 US Airways launched nonstop flights from Phoenix, opening up many western U.S. gateways to an easy, one-stop connection.

Jamaica continues to develop its offerings for niche markets, such as the meetings and conventions market with the development of the Montego Bay Conference Center set to open this summer. New hotel and resort properties continue to flourish island-wide including The Palmyra and Secrets Resorts, both set to open in March 2010. The destination also continues to enhance its existing tourism offerings, with more attractions than any other Caribbean island.

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Written by jamarch