Kevin Eagan - Dec 17, 2012
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According to Wykeham McNeill, the minister of Tourism and Entertainment of Jamaica, the country’s tourism industry has so far earned 1.7 billion US dollars.

At the opening of Tourism Awareness Week 2012, minister McNeill said that from 2011, the revenue has increased by 3.2 percent, that is, from US$1.6 billion to US$1.7 billion.

According to him, tourists who had stopovers in Jamaica also increased substantially since the beginning of 2012. The number of this kind of visitors has reached 1.7 million in October, which is 2.4 percent higher than that of January.

The minister said these data indicate that Jamaica has made great achievements in developing new markets. And it also means there will be a bright prospect in its tourism industry in the coming year.

McNeill said that they predicted 2013 will see breakthrough in its tourism industry, and they will keep on developing new markets and deliver more efforts in destination marketing. According to the minister, to attract more visitors, the government has succeeded in adding new scheduled flights.

McNeill said that from January 1, 2013, a direct flight from Moscow, Russia to Montego Bay will start for the winter tourism season. From December 28, the government will make sure there will be flight services from the Czech Republic as well. Furthermore, there will be direct flights from Paris, the capital of France.

According to the minister, from May 2013, there will be a new weekly flight service from Gatwick, London. The three flights of British Airways to Kingston, and the three flights of Virgin Atlantic Airways to Montego Bay will have no changes.

McNeill said they regard Latin America highly important for tourism. He told the public that they have talked with COPA Airlines, which made the latter to agree to increase their flight services to Jamaica from the beginning of this winter. Namely, there will be eight flights instead of four.

The minister said that they have guaranteed about 1.1 million seats for the coming winter season. There will be tourists from their old markets, such as the US, Canada and European countries, as well as visitors from new markets such as Latin America.

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