KINGSTON, Jamaica: Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says a record number of Canadians are expected to visit the nation during the upcoming winter tourist season.
“Canada is our fastest growing market,” Bartlett said. “Two years ago, the Canadian market was providing around 150,000 Canadian stopover visitors and, for this year, we’re looking at close to 300,000, which represents a 28 per cent increase over last year.”
Bartlett was speaking during a recent visit to Canada to thank travel partners for helping to make Canada the fastest growing market for Jamaica. He met with travel agents, airline officials and tour operators in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg, which have shown strong growth in recent times.
Highlighting several factors which have contributed to this success, Bartlett noted the “new and exciting” accommodations in the marketplace, the aggressive marketing by the hoteliers and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the increase in airlift from Canada.
At present, there are close to 180,000 available airline seats from Canada to Jamaica, with an expected increase this year of 20,000, mainly from the western provinces of Canada.
For the upcoming winter tourist season, Bartlett said there will be additional direct flights from Winnipeg, Vancouver and Calgary into Montego Bay.
“We’re satisfied with the infrastructure that is in place and we’re relying on Canada to be the bedrock of the growth projections for next year,” he said.