Jamaica’s tourism sector continues to record impressive growth with visitor arrivals for the three-month period from July to September increasing more than 7 percent when compared with the same period for the previous year.

A very satisfied Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett says the growth for the period under review is an indication of the collective hard work of tourism stakeholders to build a world class tourism product, and the sustained marketing efforts of the Jamaica Tourist Board in the international markets.

Minister Bartlett says “Jamaica’s tourism is among the best in the world, which is why we continue to see a growing number of visitors coming to our shores despite the still difficult global economic climate.”

For the months of July, August and September figures from the Jamaica Tourist Board show that 642,182 visitors (both stop over and cruise arrivals) came to Jamaica, compared with 596,438 for the same three-month period in 2009. This represents an increase of 7.7 percent, the largest growth in visitor arrivals for any one period since the start of the year. The country earned US$1.418 billion from stop over and cruise arrivals from January to August, a 2.2 percent increase over the same period last year.

To build on the positive growth trend Minister Bartlett says more effort will be placed on growing arrivals out of Argentina, Brazil and Columbia as part of a broader emphasis on targeting emerging markets to further grow tourist arrivals. As a result, he says the JTB will be rolling out a marketing and promotion blitz for the South American region. The overall projection for tourist arrivals for the year is 4-5 percent.

In the meantime the Tourism Minister highlighted that Jamaica’s airlift capacity for the upcoming Winter Tourist Season remains at adequate levels with some 671,002 seats available for the United States and 227, 479 seats for Canada – Jamaica’s main markets.