Holidays to Jamaica more popular
UK visitors to the popular Caribbean holiday destination of Jamaica increased by 9.3% between January and August to just over 125,000.
The total number of European visitors to Jamaica over the same period was up by 15.4%, with particularly strong growth from Spain - up 149.6% - and Portugal - up 211.7%.
Tourism is a very important part of the Jamaican economy, and in 2006 the country earned around $2 billion from tourism and received just over 3 million visitors.
New Jamaican Minister for Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, recently outlined his vision for tourism in the island. This includes increasing the number of tourists to around 5 million by 2010.
"Jamaica's natural resources provide an unprecedented foundation for a vibrant attractions sector. Our topography is extraordinary, with our soaring mountains and abundance of rivers, waterfalls and unique plant life. And we have an excellent capacity for superbly designed man-made attractions that are an important part of the Jamaican experience," says Bartlett.
Tourism development on the island will focus on the luxury sector. A new luxury development is planned in the north east of Jamaica at Port Antonio, and other luxury developments including Golden Eye, Half Moon, Palmyra and Rose Hall Resort plan to expand.
Jamaica is a popular Christmas and New Year holiday destination thanks to the guaranteed sunshine and warm Caribbean sea. Events for December and January include the Harbor Fest dance party and fireworks display in Kingston on New Year's Eve, and the Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival in Montego Bay from 24-27 January.
Written by: Nick Purdom
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