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Falmouth cruise ship pullout, a temporary setback, says Bartlett

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett today said that Jamaica's cruise tourism sector is still on a strong growth path despite the coming temporary withdrawal of two cruise ships from the Port of Falmouth.

According to reports, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL), citing widespread tourist harassment, has not included Falmouth calls for its new vessel, Symphony of the Seas, and will be temporarily repositioning Allure of the Seas after April 2018.

Bartlett, however, argued that while Falmouth will lose passenger traffic, the “overall growth in cruise numbers for Montego Bay and Ocho Rios will offset those losses and result in continued growth in cruise visitor numbers”.

In a statement from the ministry today, Bartlett also argued that Falmouth “will quickly recover in due course and that Jamaica is commonly referred to by cruise executives as the 'Pearl of the Caribbean' due to its broad and diverse attractiveness, culture and appeal”.

Bartlett said that he has been assured by RCCL that the cruise ships will return to Falmouth. He pointed out that new and enhanced cruise ports in the Western Caribbean have also impacted the allotment of cruise ships regionally.

He noted that the Ministry of Tourism, the Jamaica Tourist Board, Tourism Product Development Company, the National Cruise Council in conjunction with the Port Authority of Jamaica, which manages Jamaica's ports, and other public and private sector stakeholders are working to address some of the challenges in the town of Falmouth.

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