Travel Courier
Issue Date: Feb 08, 2018
View the full digital edition

Canada making postive vibrations for Jamaica

Security measures have no impact on tourists


(Photo above: Pictured (l-r) are the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Philip Rose and Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett.)

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett arrived in Toronto during the bitterly cold first week of February with a message that was all about growth and reassurance.
Bartlett told Travel Courier that, “I’m here to strengthen [our] marketing efforts and to build new and exciting partnerships to keep the growth momentum [going strong] and in the process to reassure Canada of Jamaica’s promise to the market of being a safe, secure and seamless destination.”
The minister of tourism also made it abundantly clear that “the initiatives that we have taken to enhance security within the Montego Bay area, in particular, are proactive measures to ensure the stability of Jamaica and the continued high-quality experiences that we offer to Canadians.”
And Bartlett said that, while the enhanced security measures will remain in place until May, “these measures will have no impact at all on the tourist.”
In fact, he pointed out that during the period in which the enhanced security arrangements have been in place, “arrivals have actually increased by 7.9%… so there is a general understanding that the tourist is safe, secure and always has a wonderful time in Jamaica and continues to do so.”
As for his visit to Canada, Bartlett described it as “extremely successful,” explaining to TC that, “we’ve met with all of our partners, and we have the full commitment of an energized team [of partners] to drive the market and to achieve the targets that we have set.”
Right now, the tourism minister said that Jamaica is experiencing “unprecedented growth” in tourism, observing, “last year, we broke the four-million barrier for visitors. We ended the year at 4.3 million and grew [by] more than 500,000 visitors in a single year which I think is phenomenal.”
As for Canada – which is Jamaica’s second-largest market – 405,174 Canadians travelled to Jamaica in 2017, an increase of 9% and made this country a significant contributor to the growth of Jamaica’s tourism industry.
“Jamaica’s tourism is on a roll, and we’re excited about the Canadian partnership,” Bartlett told TC. “We want more Canadian visitors to come to Jamaica and to enjoy Jamaica.”