JIS News

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says that a record number of Canadian visitors are expected in the island during the upcoming winter tourist season.
“Canada is our fastest growing market,” said Minister Bartlett. “Two years ago, the Canadian market was providing around 150,000 Canadian stopover visitors and for this year, we’re looking at close to 300,000, which represents a 28 per cent increase over last year,” he informed.
Minister Bartlett was speaking with JIS News during a recent visit to Canada to thank travel partners for helping to make Canada the fastest growing market for Jamaica. He met with some 200 travel agents, airline officials and tour operators in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg, some of the Canadian cities, which have shown strong growth in recent times.
“My trip was a thank you mission. I thanked our travel partners for their support; for working with us and building and growing the market,” he said.
Highlighting several factors, which have contributed to this success, Minister Bartlett made mention of the “new and exciting” accommodations in the marketplace, the aggressive marketing by the hoteliers and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB); and the increase in airlifts from Canada.
At present, there are close to 180,000 available airline seats from Canada to Jamaica, with an expected increase this year of 20,000, mainly from the western provinces of Canada. For the upcoming winter tourist season, the Minister said there will be additional direct flights from Winnipeg, Vancouver and Calgary into Montego Bay.
“We’re satisfied with the infrastructure that is in place and we’re relying on Canada to be the bedrock of the growth projections for next year,” he added.
Minister Bartlett was accompanied on his trip by JTB’s Chairman and Director of Tourism, John Lynch; Executive Director of Jamaica Vacations (JAMVAC), Lionel Reid; and the JTB’s Regional Director for Canada, Sandra Scott.

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