More tourists disembarking cruise ships, spending more locally

Joy Roberts, Executive Director of Jamaica Vacations (JAMVAC)
More tourists are leaving cruise ships, increasing the likelihood of increased local spending.
Joy Roberts, Executive Director of Jamaica Vacations (JAMVAC), said an increased number of passengers - 568,000 - disembarked during the recently concluded winter tourist season.
"Our disembarkation rates have gone from 50%, we're having 88 to 90 per cent disembarking. People are coming off the ship, they are going to attractions. Sometimes they have a pre-booked tour, then they come back and they want to know what else can we do, and they jump on a bus and they're gone again. So it's been a very good season for us," she explained.  
Ms. Roberts said the ministry has sought to determine why more cruise passengers chose to leave their vessel. 
It found, based on surveys, that a lot more of the passengers are younger - in their 30s and 40s - and want to explore Jamaica. 
"They want to experience what we do. They want to do smaller things, maybe not the larger attractions, but they want to eat, the gastronomy. Some of them are even doing sports. They want to bike, they want to play golf," Ms. Roberts said. 
JAMVAC is the arm of the Tourism Ministry which oversees cruises. 

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