Kingston stands to reap strong economic dividends from the opening of Port Royal as gateway to the city, according to Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams, who used Monday’s unveiling of a mural on Temple Lane, downtown Kingston, the first in a multi-agency collaboration, to share his vision for the city.
The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Cooperation collaborated with the Embassy of the United States of Mexico and the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport to create a mural of a young couple kissing passionately, serenaded by a female saxophonist on the right, while to their left Bob Marley belts out one of his many hit tunes. It is the work of Mexican artist Irving Cano Gomez, with input from local artists.
Williams said over the next two years, Kingston is expected to welcome more than 25,000 stopover visitors, 10,000 of whom are expected to arrive this year.
“Just to put it into perspective, Kingston stopover arrivals increased by an average of 4.2 per cent annually. For 2018, the increase was 18,668 persons, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board, from cruise ships alone. We have more than 50 per cent of that growth secured without the [stopover] arrivals via the Norman International Airport,” the mayor disclosed.
He then went on to quote from an eight-month study conducted by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, which estimated that, on average, each passenger at each stop in Jamaica spent an average of $111.82, which amounted to J$16,000 (each).