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'Dudus' cost to Jamaica's tourism revealed

PIOJ stats show cost to tourism of civil unrest over Christopher 'Dudus' Coke arrest

BY CAMILO THAME Business co-ordinator thamec@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 | 4:13 PM    

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THE decline in stopover tourists into Jamaica declined even further in June after visitors started to steer away from the island during security forces operations in west Kingston in late May.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) announced today that economic output from the hotel and restaurant sector fell by 1.6 per cent during the three months ending June as stopover arrivals dropped 1.3 per cent during the quarter.

Stopover arrivals in May fell by 2.4 per cent after the number of visitors that overnighted in the island climbed in April by 1.7 per cent, which means that stayover tourists fell in number by 3.3 per cent in June. Overall, more than 6,300 less individuals stayed over in Jamaica during the quarter when compared to the corresponding period in 2009.

The decline coincided with police and military efforts to quell violence occurring in Kingston around the time when security forces were trying to arrest Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke for extradition to the United States to face gun and drug trafficking charges.

The PIOJ, however, said that signs of recovery appeared in July.

Provisional data indicate that airport arrivals increased by 3.4 per cent in July 2010 compared to the same month last year, while cruise passenger arrivals went up by 15.7 per cent.

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