Bolstered by additional airlift, an increase in hotel room inventory and a just-launched marketing campaign and tagline, Jamaica is in "good shape" for the upcoming winter season, according to John Lynch, director of tourism.

"It's an ongoing challenge, and we just keep pushing, but we are on track for our best winter ever," Lynch said. "We're ahead in bookings in our U.S., Canada and U.K. markets; traffic from Russia, the Czech Republic, Scandinavia, France and Germany is looking strong, as well."

John LynchJamaica's redesigned website at reflects the destination's new "Jamaica -- Get All Right" slogan and brand identity.

The site includes new trip-planning tools, tips and information on key vacation experiences from weddings and honeymoons to evening entertainment, best beaches, outdoor adventures and cuisine with a Jamaican twist.

"Our website was 8 years old; our former tagline, 'Once You Go, You Know,' was 10 years old," Lynch said. "It was time to refresh the way we market Jamaica and its vibrant spirit."

Airlift, always a priority issue, is in "good shape, although we always want more flights," Lynch said. "We're up about 40,000 seats overall, with 10,000 more seats out of the U.S. and Canada this winter."

New seasonal service to Montego Bay includes Frontier's weekly flight from Denver Dec. 22 to April 27 and Delta's weekly service from Indianapolis Dec. 21 to March 29.

Riu Palace JamaicaAmerican, Caribbean Airlines, Delta, United, US Airways, AirTran/Southwest and JetBlue offer year-round service and often add flights during peak holiday periods.

Although 2,000 hotel rooms, or 10% of total room stock, were out of commission earlier this year due to closures for construction, expansion or brand changes, many of the rooms are available again for the winter season.

Karisma Hotels & Resorts will open the 136-room, all-inclusive Azul Sensatori Jamaica in Negril on Dec. 21. The property was the former Beaches Sandy Bay and has been closed since May for a makeover.

The newbuild, 238-room, adults-only Riu Palace Jamaica opened next to the Riu Montego Bay.

Following a $40 million renovation, the 350-room Royalton White Sands (the former Breezes Trelawny Resort & Spa) will welcome guests in mid-December.

The adults-only Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort & Spa, formerly Hotel Decameron Club Caribbean in St. Ann's on the north coast, opened recently with 210 rooms and 15 suites.

Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.


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