Minister Edmund Bartlett (Photo: Garvin Davis)
ST JAMES, Jamaica – Senior consultant and strategist at the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seawright is delighted that three major British airlines, TUI, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic will together operate at least 18 flights a week with Jamaica during the winter. months.
Seiveright is among Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett’s lead engagements with international tourism stakeholders in London, UK, for the global travel market.
“The increase will start this month and go right through the winter tourist season. TUI will have at least eight non-stop flights a week to Montego Bay from a number of UK cities; Virgin Atlantic will operate a daily service to Montego Bay from London Heathrow and British Airways will continue to serve Kingston non-stop.” , Seawright noted.
Bartlett is also accompanied at the World Travel Market, one of the largest international travel exhibitions, by Jamaica Tourism Board (JTB) Chairman John Lynch and Director of Tourism, Donovan White. Jamaica is among thousands of participants at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, which showcases offers from the biggest travel destinations, accommodation providers, airlines and tour operators.The event was also used for the London media launch of JTB’s “Return” marketing campaign.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to highlight this positive milestone for this important destination market. It speaks to the dedication and hard work of our team here in the UK,” said Donovan White, Director of Tourism, Jamaica. Created by JTB’s advertising agency, Accenture Song, the campaign showcases Jamaica’s picturesque natural attractions and its friendly and welcoming people who work together to help visitors live their best lives.
Seiveright highlighted that Jamaica is experiencing a continued increase in UK visitors, who are set to break record arrivals and profits, with overall Jamaica holidays sold 25 to 40 per cent higher than in 2019. This, he noted, is attributed to Bartlett’s decision for his officials to remain dynamic and strategically focused in the global tourism space over the past two and a half years.
In 2019 Jamaica welcomed 225,000 visitors to the UK, these numbers dropped significantly in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID 19 pandemic which devastated global travel. In 2022, despite the challenges at the start of the year due to the Omicron version of COVID 19, Jamaica is still on track to exceed the record numbers of 2019. If predictions hold, the island should receive more than 225,000 UK visitors.
In response to growing questions from stakeholders about the availability of hotel rooms to meet the record-breaking demand, Bartlett noted that several hotel development projects amounting to thousands of new rooms are already in development or on track to begin soon.
Meanwhile, British Airways Holidays told Jamaica Tourism Executives at the World Travel Market in London, UK that the entity sold over 15,800 room nights for its British customers arriving in Jamaica this year alone, almost three times what they sold in 2019, which was only Under 5,800 room nights.