This, he notes, includes approximately 1.9 million stopover visitors and just over one million cruise-ship passengers. Story Highlights Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica has welcomed just over three million visitors since the start of the year. Additionally, the Minister said the resulting earnings are up 10.2 per cent, and on course to surpass the projected year-end target of US$3.7 billion. Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica has welcomed just over three million visitors since the start of the year.This, he notes, includes approximately 1.9 million stopover visitors and just over one million cruise-ship passengers.Additionally, the Minister said the resulting earnings are up 10.2 per cent, and on course to surpass the projected year-end target of US$3.7 billion.He was speaking at a media briefing held at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on Tuesday (October 1).Mr. Bartlett said the out-turn for stopover arrivals represents an increase of 150,000 or some 8.6 per cent over the corresponding period in 2018, describing this as a “really impressive performance”.He said the out-turns put Jamaica “firmly on track to meet and exceed our end of year targets… notwithstanding the fallout from cruise ship arrivals”.“We [also believe we] will still be able to make our targets, insofar as the ‘5x5x5’ key performance indicators (KPIs) that we have established are concerned,” the Minister added.The Ministry’s 5x5x5 growth agenda aims to attract five million tourists by 2021; generate US$5 billion in earnings; increase total direct jobs to 125,000 and add 15,000 hotel rooms.Meanwhile, Mr. Bartlett advised that he will be flying to Canada to join Tourism Director, Donovan White, and other Ministry and Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) team members for the start of the JTB’s marketing campaign in that North American country.Noting that Canada has been Jamaica’s second largest source market with an average of 400,000 visitors, Mr. Bartlett said the JTB has crafted a “very strong marketing programme” to retrieve some of the recent fallout in arrivals and “set the Canadian market back on track”.Additionally, he said the move forms part of efforts to “create the resilience that our industry needs to ensure that our growth projection for 2020 into 2021 is secured”.“It is important that that growth is maintained. So, we will be meeting with all our partners over the three days that we will be there… our airline partners, our tour operators, our travel agents,” the Minister said.Mr. Bartlett also advised that the team will be meeting with members of the Jamaican diaspora, whom he described as “a big part of our market”.“They are our marketers. It is our diaspora that represents the first point of contact between potential visitors to Jamaica and Jamaica. So, it is critical that they are fully aligned in terms of the marketing programme that we have,” he added.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedRussell anti-doping hearing pushed to September 28September 20, 2016In “latest news”Anti-doping tribunal’s verdict on Russell expected on January 31January 24, 2017In “latest news”Russell’s disciplinary hearing resumesOctober 6, 2016In “latest news” West Indies allrounder Andre Russell has been banned for one year from cricket for a whereabouts clause violation by an independent anti-doping panel in Kingston. The ban is effective from January 31, 2017 and will last until January 30, 2018.A three-member tribunal comprising Hugh Faulkner, Dr Marjorie Vassell and Dixeth Palmer, a former Jamaica cricketer, found Russell guilty of being negligent in filing his whereabouts on three separate occasions within a 12-month period in 2015. That – under the World Anti-Doping Agency rules – amounted to a failed dope test.Patrick Foster, Russell’s lawyer, confirmed the verdict and said he would discuss all options with his client including appealing the ban.In March 2016, the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission pressed charges of negligence against Russell for not filing his whereabouts on January 1, July 1 and July 25 in 2015 despite several reminders through calls, e-mails and written letters.In his defense, Russell had told the tribunal that he had not been negligent. Considering his cricketing commitments around the world, and his own lack of training in filing the required paperwork, he said he had authorised his agent Will Quinn and Tajae Smith, one of the JADCO officials, to take care of the process.However, JADCO legal counsel Lackston Robinson disagreed saying the players had been offered education programmes on anti-doping which also involved filing procedure. Robinson accused Russell of “gross negligence” during the hearings.On November 17 last year, while summing up his arguments during the final hearing before the tribunal retired to decide on the verdict, Foster told the tribunal that if firm evidence of negligence was indeed established and Russell was found guilty then, keeping in mind his history of complying with testing protocols in the past, he ought to be banned for not more than one year.At the moment, it is unclear whether Russell will appeal against the verdict, but even if he were to do so, a quick solution to his problem does not seem possible. Depending on where he files his claim and how long it takes to examine the evidence, he might have to deal with another long and difficult legal battle.That means it is highly likely that Russell will miss his next assignment, the Pakistan Super League which starts on February 9. In any case, his team, Islamabad United, have already named England fast bowler Steven Finn as a replacement. Kolkata Knight Riders, the franchise Russell plays for in the IPL, might also think of investing in a replacement at the player auction in February.Later in 2017, if the ban stays, Russell will miss out on playing for Nottinghamshire in the NatWest T20 Blast and for defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League. (ESPNCricinfo) Nagraj Gollapudi is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo