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Jamaican tourism sees visitor rise

Jamaican tourism sees visitor rise
29 May 2014

Jamaica's tourism industry - one of the pillars of the local economy - is in fine fettle and there is good reason to believe that this will continue to be the case for the rest of 2014 and beyond.

That is the suggestion of Dr Wykeham McNeill, the country's tourism minister, who has said that the industry is robust and in a healthy situation at the moment.

The minister made the statement on the back of figures showing that the West Indian country saw a two per cent rise in stopover arrivals for the 2013 winter tourist season.

What's more, it has been suggested that the industry will see further growth in the coming months.

Dr McNeill explained that there are some positive industry trends that have led the country to reach its current point.

More specifically, the minister cited the increase in occupancy rates allied to the average daily rates for the rooms.

Added to this, he pointed to a more sustained tourism season. "In other words," the minister remarked, "where we used to have wild swings between winters and summers, we are balancing off."

Figures show that in 2013, occupancy rates across all categories of accommodation increased 9.1 per cent, which has been largely caused by visitors from Europe being inclined to stay for a longer period of time.

The minister also confirmed that the industry is benefiting from higher room rates. "We had a talk with our largest tour operator that brings persons to Jamaica and they are saying the average daily rate of rooms has gone up between 13 and 15 per cent, which is really good news for us," he said.

Given its beautiful weather and impressive array of spectacular beaches, it is easy to understand the appeal of holidaying in this part of the world.ADNFCR-408-ID-801724254-ADNFCR

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