NEW YORK -- The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) reported an average 20%
jump in visitor arrivals to the island in the first half of 2003
compared to the same period a year ago, largely thanks to a boom in
"It's inspiring to see such a remarkable comeback for tourism,
and to know that so many people are traveling again," said director
of tourism Paul Pennicook, in a statement.
Although Pennicook credited intense promotion by the JTB,
airlines and hotels for the rebound, the numbers show the recovery
was fueled mainly by cruise ship calls.
The number of cruise passenger arrivals to Jamaican ports of
call skyrocketed by 40%, totaling 601,214, compared to 431,765 in
2002. By comparison, Jamaica's room overnights grew by just 6% from
January to June, to 678,315, up from a total of 634,015 in the
first six months of 2002.
Still, growth is growth, and Pennicook said he expects the
upward trend to continue.
"With exciting marketing activities planned throughout the rest
of the year and into 2004, we anticipate a continuous increase in
arrivals," he added.
To contact reporter Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].