Tourists Flock To Jamaica At Record Levels During The Christmas Holidays

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has stated that tourist arrivals and earnings hit record levels between the period December 21-24, 2018.

The Minister said in a release that preliminary data has shown that airport arrivals over the period were 34,081, an increase of 12.8 percent over the corresponding period in 2017.

The estimated gross earnings stand at US$51,240,784, which represents a 17.1 percent increase over last year.

“This is excellent news and shows the strength of Jamaica’s tourism product. We expected a record season and the numbers highlight this fact. Arrivals from our source markets have been growing apace, and we have been strategically engaging new and emerging markets to add to this growth,” stated Mr. Bartlett.

Additionally, the Minister noted that negotiations with overseas partners have resulted in more airline seats for the 2018-2019 ‘High Season’ in December, thus the influx of arrivals out of North America, Canada, the UK, and Northern Europe.

Also, several new flights made their landing at the Sangster International Airport out of Eastern Europe, including Eurowings, Pegas Fly and Nordwind, as well as Canadian airlines Westjet, Sunwing and Swoop.

Moreover, Copa Airlines increased its daily service between Panama City, its central hub, and Montego Bay.

Furthermore, Latam Airlines Group announced nonstop direct flights from Peru to Montego Bay beginning July 2019 and Frontier Airlines, one of the newest routes out of the United States, made its inaugural trip on November 17, 2018.

“Airlift remains a key strategy in achieving our growth targets of five million visitors and US$5 billion by 2021, and the numbers show that we are well on our way to meeting these targets.

“By the end of the year it is expected that the country will welcome well over 4.3million visitors and earn US$3.3 billion,” the Minister posited.

Marcia Wright, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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