Buoyed by the full recovery of Jamaica’s tourism sector, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, is making an aggressive push to reengage this large source market.
“The Latin America region has over 600 million people, a growing middle class and represents one of the largest source markets for Jamaica that we must capitalize on. With travel fully returned and the potential of new airlift out of the region, we are building out strategies to attract these visitors,” said Minister Bartlett.
Just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were some 11 weekly flights between Panama and Jamaica via Copa Airlines and new services by LATAM Airlines with some three flights per week between Lima, Peru, a major South American travel hub, and Montego Bay.
Copa Airlines remains the strongest airline partner with an increased frequency of 4 flights weekly to both Montego Bay and Kingston, with the aim of providing 5 flights weekly to both cities by early 2024.
“Now is the time for Jamaica, a sought-after destination, to leverage this very lucrative market as part of our drive to welcome 5 million visitors by 2025.”
“With 20 thousand rooms coming on stream in Jamaica, we will need to engage our airline partners for more airlift and seats, our tour operators, and create more investment to support this drive,” said Minister Bartlett.
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In 2019, Jamaica welcomed over 38 thousand visitors from Latam, and the island was poised to increase this number in 2020, but then COVID hit. Coming out of the pandemic, in 2022, Jamaica was able to welcome over 22 thousand visitors from the region.
Minister Bartlett is in Latin America with a team of senior tourism representatives as part of a high-level strategic reengagement of the region.
Over the course of eight days, Minister Bartlett and other tourism officials will visit Buenos Aires in Argentina, Santiago in Chile and Lima, Peru. Mr. Bartlett and members of the team have undertaken a full slate of scheduled engagements which involves a series of meetings with representatives of various local authorities, ministries of tourism and Copa Airlines, one of the major carriers in the region.