In this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press, staff writer, Ian Stalker reports that a 5% increase in Canadian visitations this past winter has Jamaica’s director of tourism confident that his homeland is in vogue with sun-seeking Canadians.
The November-to-April period saw Jamaica host 264,605 Canadian arrivals and Paul Pennicook is predicting further growth from this country, thanks in part to strengthened air service.
“There’s a bullishness from Canada,” he told Canadian Travel Press during JAPEX, Jamaica’s annual tourism show, held in Montego Bay Sept. 21-23.
“I have every reason to believe that the growth we see from Canada will continue.”
Pennicook conceded that Jamaica faces strong competition for Canadian tourist dollars, particularly from the Latin Caribbean.
But he insisted that the country’s tourism infrastructure and attractions has created an “amazing product” that will continue to lure Canadians.
The lion’s share of Canadians who visit to so during winter but Pennicook added that more are visiting during the summer, helping “levelling out the hills and valleys.”
Jamaican tourism officials are upbeat in general about the country’s tourism performance, with Nicola Madden Greig, president of the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, noting during the Sept. 21 opening ceremonies that Jamaica for the first time topped the two million stop-over arrivals figure in 2013 and also saw 1.26 million cruise ship passengers, which translated into an island of 2.5 million people hosting 3.3 million visitors.
“The outlook for 2014 looks promising as Jamaica has already recorded a 2.1% increase in arrivals for the January-to-July period, all this in a very tough competitive environment,” she said.
Tourism minister Wykeham McNeill said during a Sept. 22 talk that Jamaica is seeing growth in all its source markets and welcomed what he labeled “transformational projects,” including a four-phase one that is sprucing up much of Ocho Rios, including work on its cruise pier that’s now taking place.
Check out the full story in this week’s digital edition of CTP by clicking here.