Jamaica's first-quarter visitor numbers increased 12.5% from the same period last year, according to preliminary figures compiled by the Jamaica Tourist Board.

January was up 10%, February was up 17% and March was up 13%.

For 2008, tourism officials hope to top last year's record of more than 1.5 million stopover arrivals, which was a 1.3% growth over the prior year.

Guest room inventory surpassed 27,000 units by the end of 2007, including 482 new rooms that opened last year.

An additional 3,217 rooms are scheduled to become operational this year.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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