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JIS News

During this Winter season, Jamaica will see a record 70 flights per week coming from Canada, an increase of 30 per cent over last year.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, made the announcement in Toronto, Canada, on December 8, during the launch of the Jamaica Travel Jamboree, an incentive programme for Canadian travel agents.
The increased flights will originate from every major city in Canada, from coast to coast.
Mr. Bartlett said this augers well for the future growth of the industry because Jamaica will be seeing flights from provinces that before “were not actively driving outbound traffic to Jamaica.”
The Minister also revealed that half the flights will be generated by WestJet, a Canadian carrier which started service to Jamaica only three years ago, in 2007.
Mr. Bartlett said there is a growing demand for the Jamaican product as there are no airline seats available out of Canada during the Christmas season and hotel rooms in Jamaica are almost all booked.
“All indications are that we will have a very strong Winter season out of Canada and of course out of the United States, and indeed a strong Winter season overall for Jamaica,” he said.
Thanking the Canadian travel partners who were present at the launch of the Jamaica Travel Jamboree, the Minister told them that their partnership is worth more than gold.
“This partnership has resulted in the kind of record performance out of this market that is unprecedented,” he said. Projections are that 500,000 Canadian visitors will travel to Jamaica by 2015.
“We are well on-track with that figure, because we’re going to end this year with 330,000 Canadian visitors,” he said.
Mr. Bartlett said 2011 will be a very exciting year for tourism in Jamaica, because many new things are expected to come on-stream, including the opening of the Montego Bay Convention Centre in early January; the staging of Marketplace, the largest trade tourism show in the Caribbean; and the inauguration of the largest port to be built in the Caribbean to accommodate the largest vessel that has ever been built for cruising.
“The Oasis of the Seas is going to bring 7,000 passengers and crew into Falmouth, Trelawny, and that will be the largest number of people to ever disembark from a vessel in the region,” the Minister pointed out.
He also noted that in 2011 casino gaming will be coming to Jamaica; the opening of a new attraction for swimming with dolphins in Hanover will take place; and 200 new rooms at The Palmyra and another 150 at the Gran Bahia Principe will be unveiled.