Jamaica's visitor figures topped the 1 million mark in the first six months of the year, according to Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism.

Arrivals totaled 1,004,000 visitors from Jan. 1 through June, compared with 981,756 for the same period in 2007. Tourism revenue was $1.19 billion, compared with $957.3 million a year earlier. The tourism sector earned more than $2 billion in revenue for all of 2007.

Bartlett described the current arrivals and revenue statistics as the "best ever," especially since they occurred during the downturn in the regional tourism market.

Tourism is Jamaica's second-highest revenue earner, behind remittances from Jamaicans abroad.

Earlier this year, Bartlett pledged to increase tourist arrivals to the destination to 5 million by 2012 and to boost tourism revenue to $75 billion annually.

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