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Jamaica earns US $1.7b from tourism industry

STUNNING: Jamaica Resort

JAMAICA HAS earned more than US$1 billion from the tourism industry so far this year.

Speaking at the launch of Tourism Awareness Week 2012, Tourism and Entertainment Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill said the earnings represent a 3.2 per cent increase over the US $1.6 billion generated for the same period in 2011.

He said stopover visitor arrivals also grew this year, showing a 2.4 per cent rise between January and October.

McNeill pointed out that those figures were evidence of the significant strides that Jamaica has made in efforts to tap into new markets, and expressed “optimism that the country is poised for record arrivals next year”.

He said: "We anticipate 2013 to be a groundbreaking year for Jamaica, and we will continue to tap new markets for opportunities, while boosting destination marketing efforts in these markets," he said, adding that the authorities have been successful in arranging for new flights to boost tourist arrivals.”

"For the winter tourist season, we will commence an inaugural non-stop flight from Moscow, Russia, starting January 1, 2013 into Montego Bay. We have also confirmed flight service from the Czech Republic, starting December 28. In addition, there will be non-stop service from Paris, France.”

McNeill also announced the addition of a new weekly flight from the UK to Jamaica set to start in May 2013.

He said: "Out of the United Kingdom, we will add another flight from Gatwick, London, that will become a weekly service starting in May 2013, while British Airways will maintain its three flights to Kingston, and Virgin Atlantic Airways its three flights to Montego Bay."

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