Jamaica reported 1.95 million stopover visitors in 2011, an increase of 1.6% from 2010, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board. U.S. arrivals totaled 1.26 million, a 1.4% decrease.

Cruise arrivals numbered 1.13 million, a 23.7% increase.

Latin America led the visitor surge in 2011, recording a 23.4% increase in stopover arrivals. The main markets were Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Panama.

The JTB noted that visa restrictions were loosened for travelers from Panama, Venezuela and Colombia.

"Expectations are that this will result in continued growth from this market throughout 2012," said John Lynch, director of tourism.

Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.

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