Jamaican Tourism Officials Eye Peak Season With Cautious Optimism

Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett (left) in conversation with British High Commissioner to Jamaica Asif Ahmad (centre) and Diane Corrie of British Airways following the return of British Airways service from London at the Sangster International Airport on Saturday.

With the peak Tourist Season set to get underway on December 15, Jamaica’s tourism officials are expressing cautious optimism that the industry will continue to experience a recovery.

On Saturday, December 12, more than 4,000 passengers arrived on the island: the highest daily arrival count since borders reopened on June 15.

This boost includes the resumption of British Airways’ service from London Gatwick to Montego Bay. The inaugural flight carried 312 passengers plus crew. The service will operate twice weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays until April 2021.

Between November 1-28, Jamaica welcomed over 65,000 visitors which is an increase over the previous month’s approximately 58,000 passengers. Since June 15 when the country reopened its borders, some 308,864 visitors have traveled to the island.

“We are happy to welcome the return of British Airways to Montego Bay for the winter season, adding to their current service to Kingston,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism.

“The increased capacity, in addition to our series of travel agent familiarization tours, will serve to boost our arrivals and demonstrate an increased interest in Jamaica. We hope these increasing numbers are an indication of the trend going forward as we continue our robust marketing and promotion efforts.”

Last month, the Jamaica Tourist Board resumed on-island fam tours to ensure that travel specialists are equipped to share updates on the destination with their customers and boost business. Over the past few weeks, travel specialists have reported an increase in enquiries and are confident that interest will remain high for Jamaica.

Claire Robinson, Owner of Claire Skies Travel and one of the JTB’s Top 50 agents, recently participated in a Northeast Luxury Fam, reiterated the fact that Jamaica remains popular adding that she was part of a full flight to Montego Bay from Baltimore. “It caught me totally by surprise as this period is between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” she said.

“Thanks to the efforts of the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Ministry of Health and Wellness in making the COVID-19 process a breeze! I was pleased to visit several resorts in Negril and Montego Bay to get an update on the product.”

The island’s primary source market, the United States resumed its fam trip schedule in November. The series will continue through December with agents from the various markets across the US and Canada, and will culminate in January 2021.

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