NASSAU -- Jamaica's
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett predicted that Jamaica will post a
1.1% total stopover visitor arrival increase in 2007 over the
record-breaking 2006 figures, once all numbers are crunched and
"Furthermore, we are
elated to see that preliminary numbers for January already are
looking exceptionally strong," Bartlett said in remarks at the
Caribbean Hotel Association's annual Caribbean Marketplace event in
Nassau this week. "These figures indicate an estimated increase in
stopover arrivals of 7% in the first seven days of January as
compared with the same period last year," Bartlett said.
Bartlett, Jamaica's room inventory will total 75,000 rooms by 2015,
given the average of 4,600 new rooms per year.
One hotel project
underway is at Goldeneye, the Island Outpost resort in Orcabessa.
The property is adding a high-end residential and full-service
resort village to its existing space, adding 170 rooms, a marina,
aspa, pools, a lagoon and an offshore bar. Completion is scheduled
for late 2008.
The minister outlined
a number of other projects currently underway in Jamaica, aimed at
refining the destination's tourism product. These
The "Spruce Up Jamaica" program in several resort areas, with
attention focused on environmental protection, drew many residents
who joined in the cleaning, painting, and landscaping, "inspired by
a true passion for our land. This tells me that our residents are
eager to be a part of the action," the minister said.
" In Port Antonio, the Trident Hotel
is undergoing renovations and will reopen late this
" Jamaica plans to launch an
island-wide fall promotion called Boonoonoonoos, which will include
a series of special events for tour operators, agents and
Getting to and around the island
" A three-phase,
$139 million expansion program is underway at Norman Manley
International Airport in Kingston. Already completed are the
two-level passenger piers separating arriving and departing
passengers, four new passenger bridges, the addition of 66 airline
check-in positions and new airport technology at the
The check-in hall
currently is under renovation as are a new departure lounge,
security screening stations and the terminal arrivals area.
Completion of the departure concourse is slated for late
March/early April as are renovations to the arrivals
International Airport in Montego Bay, work has been completed on
the customs, immigration and arrivals area, 11 new gates and a
retail area with 32 outlets.
" Work on the North Coast Highway
will be completed this year between Montego Bay and Falmouth; work
on Highway 2000 will create six traffic lanes and improved drainage
along two of the main thoroughfares in Kingston.
" The Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier will open in September
2009 and will welcome the 5,400-passenger Royal Caribbean Genesis
in November 2009. The facility will be able to handle two
Genesis-class ships simultaneously.
Attractions and Events
" In the attractions arena,
construction will be completed in May on Mystic Mountain near
Dunn's River, a rainforest terrain 700 feet above sea level with a
bobsled coaster ride and an aerial tramway tour.
" The Lucea in the Sky bicycle tour,
which travels through local communities near Montego Bay, will open
" The annual Air Jamaica Jazz and
Blue Festival takes place from Jan. 24 to 27. In addition, February
has been declared Reggae Month in Jamaica by Prime Minister Bruce
Golding. Special events and musical performances will be held
island-wide throughout the month.
" Japex, Jamaica's annual product
exchange for buyers and suppliers, will be held in Kingston from
April 25 through 27.
To contact reporter Gay Nagle
Myers, send e-mail to[email protected].