The Jamaica Tourist Board, JTB, says the tourists from the UK and Ireland who vacationed on the island between January and December last year, surpassed the 200,000 mark for the first time in the country’s history.

The JTB says that for the 205 calendar year, there were over 201,000 visitors from the UK and Ireland.

This represents an increase of 12.2-percent from the previous year which saw a little over 179,000 visitors from that market visiting the island.

The JTB says the record visitor number is comprised exclusively of holiday makers staying overnight and does not account for cruise passengers.

The Tourist Board says with the launch of a new direct flight route from Dublin to Montego Bay later this summer, visitor numbers from the region look set to increase even further for 2016.

Factors cited for the increased arrivals from the UK and Ireland include the continued strength of the pound sterling against the Jamaican dollar and a reduction in fuel surcharges.