Minister Says Jamaica Can Learn More in Retention of Tourist Dollar

Photo: Kavanaugh Campbell Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, makes a point at a press briefing to welcome the Evelop non-stop flight out of Madrid, Spain, at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St. James, on July 9.

Story Highlights

  • Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica can learn from Spain’s ability to retain the tourist dollar as well as its ability to maintain certain linkages within the industry.
  • Mr. Bartlett noted that Jamaica must be able to absorb the demands of tourism, as well as provide the necessary inputs of the sector, such as those from agriculture and manufacturing, in similar manner to Spain.
  • Meanwhile, citing statistics on visitor arrival to the island, Mr. Bartlett noted that the month of July continues to do well, being ahead of last year by 7,000 visitors.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica can learn from Spain’s ability to retain the tourist dollar as well as its ability to maintain certain linkages within the industry.

Mr. Bartlett noted that Jamaica must be able to absorb the demands of tourism, as well as provide the necessary inputs of the sector, such as those from agriculture and manufacturing, in similar manner to Spain.

“That is our weakness. The retentive capacity and the distributive capacity are at one in Spain. Here in the Caribbean there is a disparity. We can distribute the visitors, but we’re not able to retain the earnings from tourism,” he said.

Mr. Bartlett was addressing a press briefing on Sunday (July 9) to welcome the Evelop non-stop flight out of Madrid, Spain, to the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St. James.

In May, while on a tour of Barrett Town in St. James, the Minister said he wanted to see the current retention of 30 per cent of every dollar improve to 40 per cent, bringing Jamaica closer to world-leading India at 60 per cent, and in line with projections of US$2 billion in net earnings by 2021.

Meanwhile, citing statistics on visitor arrival to the island, Mr. Bartlett noted that the month of July continues to do well, being ahead of last year by 7,000 visitors.

In his address, Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Josep Maria Bosch Bessa, said Spain is interested in investing in many other areas in Jamaica.

However, he said tourism represents the basis on which a stronger relationship between his country and Jamaica will be built.

For his part, Spain’s Secretary of State for International Cooperation for Latin America and the Caribbean, Fernando Garcia Casas, said areas of interest for Spanish investment in Jamaica include renewable energy, infrastructure and agriculture.

Operating non-stop out of Madrid from June 25 to October 29, Evelop, using a 388-passenger capacity Airbus A330, will add approximately 8,000 seats to the tourism industry.

Recently, the Minister welcomed Eurowings, one of Europe’s leading airlines.

The scheduled flights will operate every Monday and Friday from the Cologne/Bonn area of Germany, and will use their Airbus A330 aircraft which has 310 seats. Flights will run from July 3 to October 27.

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