Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says a single-visa regime among CARICOM member countries should be the next critical consideration in rationalising entry protocols in the region.
“[This is] for touristic purposes and can be provided for visitors coming into your space for 30 days or three days… a simple platform that allows everybody and anybody to apply for a CARICOM visa that allows you entry into all the CARICOM countries,” the Minister said.
He was speaking at the inauguration of scheduled commercial flights into the Ian Fleming International Airport, at Boscobel, St. Mary, on Thursday, June 16.
Mr. Bartlett said the region needs to adopt a new approach to air transportation and develop new ideas about collaboration, using the support of today’s technology.
“Multi-destination tourism is part of the principle of co-petition, where we can offer to visitors coming into our space, multiple experiences across borders. So, when you buy Jamaica, you can get Barbados and you can get St. Lucia and you can get Turks and Caicos,” he added.
The Minister said the aim of the Ministry is to establish Jamaica as an aviation hub, “so that big planes coming from the far-flung areas can bring large numbers into our airports and they are distributed by airlines like interCaribbean across the Caribbean and elsewhere”.
For this, Mr. Bartlett is suggesting the establishment of preclearance arrangements within the Caribbean, so that arriving visitors in Jamaica are domestic in other countries of the region and vice versa.
He noted that the commencement of scheduled commercial flights into Ian Fleming is an “important development” that will provide a new gateway for global travellers.