Arrivals go up Inspite of Jamaica's Murder Image Overseas


airjamaica.jpgOn the heels of a BBC Caribbean report declaring Jamaica the "murder capital of the world', the government has announced that Jamaica recorded its best tourism year ever in 2005 with just over 2.6 million foreign visitors. Go figure!

According to tourism director Paul Pennicook, this record figure represents an increase of four per cent over 2004. The Jamaica Tourist Board plans to press ahead with its aggressive marketing of the island overseas.

The state-run agency has resumed television advertising in the United States after the traditional ending of its Fall campaign just before America's Thanksgiving holiday. Television advertising will cost in the region of US$2 million.

A 25.4 per cent increase in stopover visitors in November gave an early indication that Jamaica would have ended the year in a strong position. In fact, for the period January to November 2005, total stopover arrivals stood at 1,313,398 - a 2.7 per cent increase over the same months in 2004.

Cruise passenger arrivals for the same period totalled 1,004,756 - a four per cent increase over the same months in 2004. The strategists believe that the numbers are likely to go up at the final count, given the encouraging performance during November and December, and eventually, the figure should represent a four per cent increase over 2004.