updated 9/6/2009 6:32:13 PM ET 2009-09-06T22:32:13

Jamaica is hoping for a better winter tourism season despite the economic crisis, as capacity on flights to the island increases by 70,000 seats.

Tourism director John Lynch says American Airlines is offering service out of Phoenix for the first time, and British Airways is resuming flights to Montego Bay in October.

The Caribbean island already reported a 3.4 percent increase in tourist arrivals from January through June compared to the same period last year. The overwhelming majority of the 971,000 visitors were from the U.S.

Lynch said in a statement Friday that officials also are in talks with a Latin-American carrier to tap into the Brazilian, Argentine and Chilean markets.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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