This Beautiful, Fun & Friendly Island Is Trending Again
Jamaica hosted 1.25 million overnight visitor arrivals in the first half of 2018. Jamaica is one of only six countries tracked by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) to exceed one million annual land-based visitors.
The increases came despite a January declaration of a state of emergency by Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s prime minister. The declaration authorized “increased security measures” to curb “crime and violence” in St. James Parish, which includes the key Montego Bay tourist district. In a statement, Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) officials attributed the increases to quick, decisive and sustained initiatives led by Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s tourism minister, and Donovan White, the director of tourism, which successfully mitigated the possible negative outcomes from enhanced security measures implemented in the parish of St. James in January. “While the implementation of enhanced security measures did stir a whirlwind of concerns locally and internationally, several overseas partners welcomed the initiative as a necessary step,” said Bartlett. “[We] continue to support our nation’s security apparatus in their efforts to make Jamaica a safe place for all,” said Bartlett.
Jamaica has also benefited from strong hotel and resort development and investment, as major hospitality suppliers have targeted the island for future visitor growth despite the expressed security concerns. Several of Jamaica’s classic luxury resorts are slated for significant renovations this year, while both major and regional airlines have added new flights to the destination, facilitating the growing visitor totals.