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Jamaica records increase arrivals over Easter weekend: Norwegian Cruise Line to homeport a vessel, says tourism minister

By Caribbean News Global contributor

KINGSTON, Jamaica –  Tourism minister, Edmund Bartlett announced that Jamaica recorded a major increase in stopover arrivals over the Easter holiday weekend: meantime Jamaica has finalized arrangements with global cruise company, Norwegian Cruise Line, to homeport one of their vessels in Montego Bay, with service set to begin on August 7, 2021.

“According to preliminary data from the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Jamaica recorded some 14,983 visitors to the island from April 1 – 5, 2021. Over 13,000 of these visitors entered the island via the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay,” the minister explained. Year to date, Jamaica welcomed 209,930 passengers to the island, 164,157 of which were tourists.

“I am very heartened by the data we have received, as it shows that Jamaica is still top-of-mind to our visitors and that we are making steady progress towards a full recovery of our sector. I commend the team at the Jamaica Tourist Board, for their aggressive and innovative marketing campaigns, which have clearly been impactful. Special commendation must also be given to our tourism partners and stakeholders for the hard work they also do in marketing Brand Jamaica to the world,” minister Bartlett, added. “We are happy to share that the reports received by the ministry indicate that there was strong compliance with the protocols, as players in the sector enforced strict COVID-19 measures over the holiday weekend, despite the high occupancy in most properties. I must therefore laud our stakeholders for ensuring that their guests had a safe yet memorable experience.”

Minister Bartlett also announced that Jamaica will be a homeport for Norwegian Cruise Line, which will see the return of cruise tourism to Jamaican waters in August.

“We look forward to welcoming them back to our shores, and I am confident that this important partnership will aid in our effort to rebuild our tourism sector and boost our economy overall. While we know there are some concerns about the safety of the cruise industry at this time. We want to assure the public that the cruise lines are adhering to strict COVID-19 safety protocols. We have also been working tirelessly to develop the necessary policy and strategic frameworks, which will ensure that this will be a safe, seamless and secure experience, which will be mutually beneficial,” he added.

The Norwegian Joy is the vessel which will be used to transport passengers embarking from Jamaica, and the itineraries will include 7-day packages sailing out of Montego Bay.

“Ultimately, the vessel, which has an occupancy of approximately 3,800, will operate at 50 percent capacity, in keeping with current COVID-19 protocols in place for the cruise shipping industry. Passengers will also be required to be fully vaccinated and take a test prior to boarding the ship,” minister Bartlett explained.

Source: Ministry of Tourism



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