MINISTER of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett says that the opening of Jamaica’s third international airport, the Ian Fleming International Airport in Boscobel, St Mary will boost the appeal and competitiveness of the island in the lucrative high-end tourism market.
Speaking at yesterday's official opening of the airport, named after the famed James Bond author, Minister Bartlett said “the opening of this facility, just outside the island’s resort town of Ocho Rios, is significant for us as a destination as we seek to diversify our product and tap into the luxury market.”
Bartlett said that with the airport operating at international standards, efforts will be made to rebrand the area for the high-end market.
“With this new development, we are tremendously encouraged about the growth prospects for the island’s tourism. With the Golden Eye expansion project underway, coupled with other scheduled enhanced services, we are confident that this will positively impact a number of our resort areas, including Ocho Rios and Port Antonio. It is our hope that this new facility will boost the visibility of the area and enhance its brand recognition,” he said.
Jamaica recorded a 4.7 per cent increase in tourist arrivals in 2010, following 3.6 per cent growth in 2009.
He pointed out that the new airport is in close proximity to over 5,700 rooms spread across hotels, guest houses and villas in St Ann, and another 692 rooms in St Mary.
Formerly the Boscobel Aerodrome, the airport caters primarily to travellers on private jets and has a number of convenience features including a passenger lounge, a pilot briefing room and customs and immigration points.
Ian Fleming airport will increase high end tourism