KINGSTON: Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says cabinet has approved the waiving of visa requirements for nationals of Russia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine visiting Jamaica for purposes of tourism and cultural exchange for periods of 30 days or less.
In addition, cabinet has also approved the indefinite extension of the current visa waiver requirement in place for nationals of Columbia, Panama and Venezuela.
“This is all tremendous news as we continue to make positive headway towards removing barriers to travel while creating ease of access to visitors from these new and emerging market frontiers Jamaica is so aggressively forging into,” said Dr. McNeill. “The continued removal of the barriers to travel, such as improving the visa regimes, is all a part of our strategy to diversify our markets. These initiatives will certainly work towards the expansion of the tourist industry.”
On January 1, Jamaica welcomed the inaugural Transaero Airlines flight from Moscow to Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. Visitors from Russia must stay a minimum of 10 nights, which is twice the average stay of visitors from traditional markets, such as the U.S. Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism is anticipating that this will provide significant returns through increased visitor spending.
McNeill said promotional efforts to grow the Latin American market will also continue as a result of waiving visa requirements for nationals from Columbia, Panama and Venezuela.
Following the cabinet decision last week, McNeill left Jamaica to attend the world’s largest travel trade show and buyer/seller meet, ITB Berlin in Germany, for meetings with tourism travel partners.