The Jamaica Tourist Board plans to launch a campaign to bolster the destination’s image, which has been damaged by recent violence in sections of Kingston, where military and security forces have hunted for alleged drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke.
The operation resulted in the deaths of more than 50 civilians and some security personnel and was featured prominently on news and cable stations around the world.
The situation has eased and Jamaica’s police have regained control of Tivoli Gardens, the West Kingston ghetto where Coke has a loyal following.
John Lynch, director of tourism and chairman of the JTB, told Travel Weekly that cancellations in the resort areas of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios "have been a small percentage of our bookings."
"We continue to advise of the distance between Kingston and the resort areas on the north coast,” he said. “Our travel partners are assuring us that bookings are remaining relatively stable with few cancellations."
Kingston is approximately 62 miles from Ocho Rios and 112 miles from Montego Bay.
Although Lynch did not provide specific details on the new campaign or give a timeline as to when it would launch, he said that content would emphasize that the airports in both Kingston and Montego Bay are open and cruise ships have continued their schedules.
"The majority of the travelers and groups who have long-standing plans to visit Jamaica are still moving forward with their scheduled travels to Jamaica," Lynch said.
The JTB "is communicating with our travel agents on a daily basis, who continue to reassure current and potential travelers to Jamaica that visitors have not been affected by the disturbance. Hoteliers advise that tourists are enjoying Jamaica’s attractions and facilities," said Lynch.