Jamaica racked up a 3.6% increase in visitors in 2009 over 2008, according to John Lynch, director of tourism.

"Given the current global economic environment, 3.6% growth is a commendable accomplishment for Jamaica," Lynch said. "To achieve this growth, we had to devise strategies to weather the challenges of the economic climate and capitalize on industry opportunities as they arose."

The strategies included expanding partnerships with U.S. carriers to increase airlift.

Provisional figures for January 2010 indicate an 8.4% visitor increase over a year ago.

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