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  • The Minister, who left the island on September 22, along with a delegation from the Ministry of Tourism, which includes Director of Tourism, Donovan White; Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board, John Lynch, and Senior Strategist in the Ministry, Delano Seiveright, will be participating in a series of meetings in the island’s two largest source markets, the United States and Canada.
  • The Minister noted that efforts have been ramped up to ensure that tourism workers are fully vaccinated, and much success has been achieved from this initiative. 
  • Meetings in Canada will focus on marketing and will include all key partners, such as Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing, Transat and Swoop. They will also meet with tour operators, tourism investors, trade and mainstream media and key diaspora stakeholders.

With an increase in visitor arrivals and revenue both critical to Jamaica’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, is currently overseas having key meetings with major investors and sector players.

The Minister, who left the island on September 22, along with a delegation from the Ministry of Tourism, which includes Director of Tourism, Donovan White; Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board, John Lynch, and Senior Strategist in the Ministry, Delano Seiveright, will be participating in a series of meetings in the island’s two largest source markets, the United States and Canada.

The aim is to increase arrivals to the destination as well as to foster further investments in the tourism sector.

While in the United States, the delegation will meet with executives from American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. They will also meet with officials from major cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival, as well as executives from Expedia, Inc., the largest online travel agency in the world, the third largest travel company in the US, and the fourth largest travel company in the world.

“Jamaica remains a safe destination and we want to reassure our tourism interests of this. A key factor is our Tourism Resilience Corridors, which have a low infection rate of less than one per cent. Our product remains strong and is indeed top of mind, despite the challenges. We will, therefore, continue to drive the marketing arrangements to minimise any possible fallout,” Mr. Bartlett said in a statement.

“We want to assure our partners, and our visitors that we are doing all that we can to ensure that their visit to the island will, indeed, be a safe one. Our protocols are in place to ensure that you will be able to visit our attractions and have an authentic Jamaican experience but in a safe and seamless way,” he said.

The Minister noted that efforts have been ramped up to ensure that tourism workers are fully vaccinated, and much success has been achieved from this initiative.

“Therefore, you can rest assured that visitors are in a safe environment. In fact, our safety standards and protocols are highly celebrated worldwide and were key to us being able to welcome over one million visitors since we reopened our borders,” Mr. Bartlett added.

Meanwhile, the Minister said that he has been further buoyed by “breaking news” from one of America’s biggest airlines and a long-standing partner of Jamaica –  Southwest Airlines – that their flight operations into Montego Bay in coming weeks and months “are very close to 2019 pre-pandemic record levels, signalling increased demand for destination Jamaica by US travellers”.

“This is very big and interesting news, as Southwest is one of the largest airlines in the United States and is the world’s largest low-cost carrier airline. It operates non-stop flights between the major US international airports of Houston (Hobby), Fort Lauderdale, Baltimore, Washington, Orlando, Chicago (Midway), St. Louis and Montego Bay,” Mr. Bartlett noted.

Meetings in Canada will focus on marketing and will include all key partners, such as Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing, Transat and Swoop. They will also meet with tour operators, tourism investors, trade and mainstream media and key diaspora stakeholders.

The Minister and other members of the team are slated to return to the island on October 3, 2021.

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