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17 August 2011 -

Jamaica is to be awarded an accolade for its role in spearheading the recovery of the Caribbean’s travel and tourism economy.

The island has been credited for ‘reinventing’ itself with new product and initiatives to boost visitor numbers.

Last year, the island achieved a 5% increase in visitor numbers and the indications are that this year the increase will be even higher.

The Jamaican Tourist Board will receive an accolade at the Caribbean and Americas regional World Travel Awards in October.

WTA said Jamaica’s growth ‘comes despite the on-going austerity challenges of key source markets in Europe and North America’.

Graham E Cooke, president and founder of the WTA said: ‘Jamaica has proven one of the tourism stars of the global downturn because of its boundless appetite for reinvention.’

He said the Caribbean as a whole is ‘also capitalising on the tremendous opportunities afforded by BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) nations, especially with traditional source markets stuttering’.

But he warned: ‘To unlock this potential, accompanying governmental support remains vital, including the easing of restrictions that currently limit intra-Caribbean travel.’

John Lynch, chairman of the JTB, said: ‘In the midst of the global economic challenges, Jamaica’s growth in 2010 is remarkable.

‘We are fortunate to have an unrivaled tourism product offering diverse vacation experiences to the most discerning traveler, and this is complimented by a high-touch quality service, which makes our visitors want to return.’

The awards ceremony will take place in Jamaica, hosted by Sandals Resorts.

Butch Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts, said: ‘At Sandals Resorts, we come from the region, we understand the communities, we understand the quality of the beaches, and we understand the services and standards that the customer now demands.’

The Caribbean and Americas ceremony marks the fifth and final leg of WTA 2011 Grand Tour, following heats in Dubai, Turkey, Egypt and Thailand.

Regional winners from these events will progress to the grand final in Qatar, in November.



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