For the fourth consecutive year, Jamaica has been named the World’s Leading Cruise Destination in the World Travel Awards. Jamaica also copped its fifth win as the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination and Ocho Rios was named the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Port. The awards, described by the Wall Street Journal as the ‘Oscars’ of the global travel and tourism industry, are decided by votes cast by travel professionals from 183,000 companies and tourism organisations in over 160 countries.
“Without a doubt, our success at the World Travel Awards must be attributed to the increasing diversity of experiences that we have to offer cruise visitors. We have everything from shopping and historical tours, to high impact adventures and that allows Jamaica to connect with almost every passenger on a cruise ship in ways no other destination can,” said William Tatham, the Port Authority of Jamaica’s vice-president for Cruise Shipping and Marina Operations. The Port Authority is responsible for marketing the cruise shipping under the brand “Cruise Jamaica”.
According to the organisers, research has shown that winning a World Travel Award increases international brand recognition, building consumer loyalty. Graham Cooke, president and founder, World Travel Awards commented: “The past 12 months have brought several challenges, namely the economic downturn and the outbreak of swine flu, which has impacted travel and tourism worldwide; today’s winners have not only been recognised as the best in their region, but they have proved themselves to be the best in the world and the number one choice of travel professionals and consumers alike.”
Ocho Rios and Montego Bay host some of the world’s largest cruise ships, while Port Antonio is designed for the smaller boutique lines. The next generation Jamaican port debuts with Historic Falmouth, a port that is itself an attraction. Designed to host one Oasis-class vessel as well as a Freedom-class vessel. Historic Falmouth will take its cues from 18th Century Jamaica when Falmouth was one of the leading ports and commercial centres in the Americas. “The town is recognised as having some of the best representations of Georgian architecture outside of Britain, and we’ve used this to create a historically correct experience that delivers big on education and entertainment,” said Tatham. Historic Falmouth will be inaugurated in Fall 2010.