Significant changes are about to affect tourism in Jamaica, including the opening of a convention center, increased air traffic to Montego Bay, and Falmouth becoming a leading destination. The possibility of casino gaming is another factor that would make Jamaica even more enticing to many visitors.
“Casino legislation is currently in the works, but Jamaica will not become a casino destination,” said Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism for Jamaica. “It will be just one attraction of many. We’re not envisioning stand-alone casinos right now but three casinos embedded in the wider development of the area.”
Over the next three to five years, Falmouth is being transformed into a new tourist destination featuring a wide variety of attractions and shore excursions, thanks to the demand from 7,500 potential passengers and crew disembarking weekly from Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas at the new Port of Falmouth, currently under construction.
Bartlett projected that in excess of $32 million will be spent in the building of the cruise ship terminal alone. Part of the attraction will be high-end shopping which should also appear in other areas of the island, such as Montego Bay, thanks to some new legislation that will allow merchants to bring in more upscale goods and pay the duty on the back end, as well as return unsold merchandise without penalty.