Jamaica: Tourism Minister: ‘Room for Growth’

Dr.  Wykeham McNeill, Jamaica's Minister of Tourism and EntertainmentWhat happens when you open a new headline-grabbing facility on your island? Plan for more berths, said Dr.  Wykeham McNeill, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, appointed to the position in January.

“Falmouth is new and setting the benchmark,” he said, in an exclusive interview with Cruise Industry News. “In terms of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, we have plans of where we’d like to go with them, to bring them to a whole new level.”

“It’s not something we have control over. We think there is more market out there, if we’re able to expand the ports. We think there is room for expansion,” McNeill explained.

McNeill said  that Jamaica needs to remain “on the edge,” meaning, always developing new attractions.

As far as the ports go, the facilities have to be in a constant rotation of upgrading. “We need to constantly refresh them so they remain the best, and above the competition,” noted McNeill.

Commenting on cruise line discounts and incentives, the minister noted that it was more about product quality and creating demand “so passengers want to come to Jamaica.”

“It’s not about giving discounts but making investments in ports and in the country.”

He added that in Jamaica, the selling points, are first and foremost, the beauty of the country.

“It’s also the diversity of the product we have, we are really proud of our strong heritage and culture.  Besides attractions, there is the music, our athletes, our beer, our food, our rum – so many things that make Jamaica a small country that stands out.”


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