Record two million visitors for January to May — Bartlett

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett is reporting that the island welcomed a record two million visitors for the first five months of 2019.

 “That is the first time in the history of Jamaica that within the first five months of the year, we have brought two million visitors to Jamaica,” he said.

He was speaking at the official opening of the R Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday.

Bartlett informed that the country earned US$1.7 billion for the period, as a result of the increase in arrivals.

 “This represents, for us, the new drive that Jamaica is now involved in, which is not just about (increasing) numbers, but also to add value to the experience of the visitors, who come here,” he noted.

The tourism minister said that the Government is working to retain a greater portion of visitor spending, so that more Jamaicans can benefit from the industry.

He noted that the country now retains 40.8 cents out of every tourism dollar spent on the island, up from 30 cents.

The R Hotel is the city’s only extended stay business hotel, as well as the first full city concierge experience property. It comprises 48 rooms, a gym, art gallery, and boasts Jamaican-made handcrafted furnishings and décor.

The hotel is a partnership involving noted Jamaican architect Evan Williams and businessman Joe Bogdanovich.

It is the brainchild of Williams, who, 10 years ago, saw the need to provide more hotel rooms to service business travellers coming to the nation’s capital.

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