Jamaican tourism minister says island is 'back to normal'

Jamaica's minister of tourism, Francis Tulloch, came to New York to reassure the travel community that it is "back to normal" on the island.

Last month, Jamaica's tourism business was hurt by protests over a hike in gas prices and tax. The gasoline tax hike was then cut by the prime minister.

Tulloch said arrivals to the the island have not decreased. "In the first couple of days, there were some cancellations, [but bookings] are stable for May and June." However, he reported that bookings are down for July and August compared to the same period as last year.

Jamaica also is bracing itself for reaction to an increase in its departure tax, which goes into effect June 1. The minister said his administration is working on cushioning the blow. "We are armed with letters from tour operators and hotels and [want to] see what can be done."

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