Jamaica is firmly established as a center for tourists, mainly from North America. Greatly expanded air facilities, linking Jamaica to the US, Canada, and Europe, were mainly responsible for the increase in tourism during the 1960s. Rising fuel costs and a weak international economy, as well as intermittent political unrest, contributed to a slowdown in the growth rate of the industry in the 1970s; between 1980 and 1986, however, the number of tourists increased by 68%, and tourism had continued to grow throughout the 1990s.
Major tourist areas are the resort centers of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Cricket is the national sport, and excellent golf and water-sports facilities are available. Immigration regulations require the possession of a valid passport, but visitors from the US, Canada and other Commonwealth countries, Japan and parts of Europe may stay up to six months without other valid identification. All visitors must have an onward ticket.
In 2000, 1,322,690 tourists visited the island. Receipts from tourism were about $1.3 billion. There were 19,908 hotel rooms and 41,473 bed-places with a 59% occupancy rate that year.
The US Department of State estimated the cost of staying in Kingston in 2001 at $222 per day.