Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says Jamaica’s cruise passenger arrivals are expected to increase to two million in 2017.
This, he said, would put the country in the number-three position in the region, after Mexico and the Dominican Republic, in terms of visitor arrivals.
A total of 1.8 million cruise passengers have visited Jamaica since the start of the year, up from some 1.5 million in 2015.
Bartlett said the growth in the cruise sector over the past 10 years and the redounding significant impact on the Jamaican economy provided the context for last week’s meeting by himself and Prime Minister, Andrew Holness with key cruise stakeholders, held in Miami, Florida.
He said the meeting with the cruise-ship owners, chief executive officers and key operational persons was productive.
“We were able to talk about a wide range of interests and strengthen the partnerships… we feel very positive about that,” he told JIS News.
Bartlett noted that there were discussions on expanding the industry through increased passenger arrivals and the opening of additional ports.
He added that expansion of the industry will also generate employment and manufacturing opportunities for Jamaicans, through provision of supplies for ships docked at the ports as well as jobs aboard the vessels.