New York, USA: Jamaica has won the Caribbean’s Top Tourist Destination Award, beating out Caribbean rivals Aruba, The Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The accolade was presented in New York at the 8th annual Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards. The event is held to award industry suppliers considered by the publication’s readers to have excelled in product and service during the past year.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said Jamaica’s wining of the top award this year gave credence to the view long held by reputable tourism officials that Jamaica is indeed one of the world’s top destinations.
“We have had a very upbeat start to the 2010/2011 winter tourist season and this award represents the icing on the cake,” he said.
“Tourism stakeholders in Jamaica will proudly share in this award, as they continue the job of solidifying the country’s position, not only as the top destination in the Caribbean, but as a leading destination in the world.”
Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Haiti’s health ministry has confirmed, as of press time, that the death toll from cholera is 2,500.
The figures, recorded up to December 14, indicate that 54 people died from cholera on that day alone.
In the face of protests after international peacekeepers were accused of bringing the disease into Haiti, the United Nations has announced a probe into the origin of the epidemic.
UN Chief Ban Ki-moon said the international panel would investigate the source of the epidemic and would have full access to UN records, resources and personnel.
George Town, Cayman Islands: The Cayman Islands will change visa requirements for Jamaican visitors in January.
Cayman’s Premier, McKeeva Bush, announced that present visa requirements for Jamaican would be eased next month.
Bush said that the visa exemptions would apply to Jamaican nationals who hold validated visas for the U.S., the UK and Canada.
“I can now tell you that a new 1-5 day business visa will be introduced for business travelers visiting for legitimate business purposes,” said Bush at the Northern Caribbean Conference on Economic Cooperation.
The conference was held to focus on issues linked to business between the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, the Dominica Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.