Tourism Minister, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett has revealed that there was a 5.6% increase in stopover arrivals to Jamaica during the 2010-2011 Winter Tourist Season which came to an end on April 15.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 4th annual Tourism Outlook Seminar at the Half Moon Conference Centre in Montego Bay, St. James, today, Minister Bartlett explained that “our preliminary figures show that we have achieved 5.6% growth, in stopover arrivals between December 15 and April 15, which is in-keeping with our growth projections of 4-5%.” Minister Bartlett added that “we are reporting yet another record in stopover arrivals, as 743,776 visitors arrived over the period, up from 704,320 for the same period in 2010.”

The Tourism Minister also had very good news regarding the rebounding cruise sector. He outlined that Jamaica recorded a 9.6% increase in cruise arrivals during the winter tourist season, over the same period in 2010.

Minister Bartlett said “there is even more good news, there was a 9.6% increase in Cruise arrivals of 398,772 visitors up from the 363,818 who arrived over the same period in 2010. This brings the total number of visitors for the period to 1,142,548, which represents a 7% increase over the 1,068,137 who visited in 2010.”

The Tourism Minister outlined that the performance of the industry has resulted in major foreign exchange earnings for Jamaica of US$ 852.6 million, a 6% increase over the US$ 804.5 million earned over the same period last year.