JIS News

Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Dennis Morrison has said that the approved destination status granted to Jamaica by China, would pave the way for the development of China’s outbound tourist market to the island.
Speaking at a press briefing during the closing hours of the China- Caribbean Trade Fair at the National Arena last Saturday (Feb.5), Mr. Morrison said there were significant benefits to be derived from actively developing the China-Jamaica tourist link.
The outcome of efforts in this area, the JTB chairman noted, would be the diversification of the tourist market to reduce the dependence on the United States, which was responsible for over 73 per cent of all stopover arrivals.
He told reporters, that while it was hoped that more American tourists would visit, it was envisaged that overtime, the country would be less dependent on a single market for such a large percentage of visitors.
“A country like China is a very good target for us to try to reach in terms of attracting visitors and the approved destination status is the very first foundation step put in place for us to build the relationship,” Mr. Morrison said.
Jamaica will be pursuing the Chinese tourist market, when officers from the JTB and private sector groups visit Beijing in April for a trade fair.
Mr. Morrison noted however, that for the tourist link between China and Jamaica to be effective, it was necessary that focus be placed on developing bilateral air arrangements with the United Kingdom, Canada and Cuba.
Explaining, the JTB chairman pointed out that the possibility for the airlift of Chinese tourists in the first instance, existed in the island’s linkage with Air Canada, as Canada, which also enjoyed approved destination status with China, was operating between Beijing and Shanghai to Toronto and Vancouver.
Furthermore, he said, other areas to be addressed to ensure success included promotional work through the efforts of the JTB and the private sector and educating the Jamaican populace on China’s culture, among other things.
Meanwhile, Mr. Morrison informed that inbound investment to Jamaica out of China, was an area that was being explored to develop the tourist industry.He emphasized that the agreements signed with China during the fair trade and forum, were not indicative of a one-way relationship but rather showed a collaboration, which existed on the basis of trade. He noted that Jamaica now had a trade surplus with China largely because of increased alumina exports to the Republic.

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