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Jamaica launches $3 million tourism campaign

/ Source: The Associated Press

Jamaica is launching a $3 million advertising campaign to lure tourists to the island despite a global financial crisis.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says TV and radio ads are targeting the United States, which is traditionally Jamaica's strongest market. He said Wednesday that similar promotions are planned for Canada and Europe.

Jamaican tourism association president Wayne Cummings says bookings for early 2009 have dropped 30 percent. Other Caribbean nations such as Bermuda and the Bahamas are struggling with the same problem.

Tourism brings in $950 million annually as Jamaica's main revenue source. About 1.4 million tourists visited through September this year, a 5 percent increase from the same period in 2007.