Jamaica Tourism Minister moves to recover Japan market

Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett says his Ministry will be placing special focus on increasing arrivals from Japan by implementing new marketing arrangements.

Speaking at a press briefing today at the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Kingston office, the Minister noted that he would be leading a team in Japan later this month to meet with key officials and stakeholders to recover the Japanese market, which he lamented was much stronger 30 years ago. 

“Japan was a very good market for Jamaica 20-30 years ago. We lost that market because of a number of factors, one of which had to do with the economy of Japan and a fire that took place. The Japanese economy has rebounded and they are doing extremely well. Their outbound market is over 20 million and the appetite for Jamaica and the Caribbean is returning,” said Minister Bartlett.

He further noted that, “The good news is that we now have arrangements with main carriers. Out of Japan, we have a strong programme with Delta as well as American Airlines, which both have co-sharing arrangements with airlines out of Japan. There is now the gateway of Panama, which is connected directly into Japan.”

While in Japan, the Minister is expected to meet with the Japan Tourism Agency, as well as the Chairman of the Japan Association of Travel Agents, Mr Hiromi Tagawa to establish the new marketing arrangements. He will also meet with The Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Hon. Kazuyoshi Akaba on broader areas of collaboration.

Jamaica will also be a major exhibitor at Tourism EXPO Japan 2019, scheduled for October 24 and 25.  The event will focus on tourism as a major factor for the revitalization of regional economy and job creations. It is one of the largest tourism expositions of its kind in the world.

Other key markets the Ministry will focus on include India and South America.

“India is now the fastest growing economy in the world, with a growing middle-class. They have perhaps the best wedding market in the world. Jamaica will be tapping into that. We have a representative in India now and work has already started. We are also partnering with Indian tour operators and travel agents,” said the Minister.

He noted that work to improve the South American market has already began, with arrangements in place for the island to receive more visitors from the region beginning in December.

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“LATAM, which is the largest and most important carrier operating in the South American area, will inaugurate a flight which will have  three-rotations into Montego Bay on the first of December.

We will go to Lima and be on that first flight which will be a historic event for tourism in Jamaica. Jamaica will now have 14 rotations coming from South America, starting from December,” said the Minister.

To ensure that the country’s growth projections for 2020 into 2021 are secured, the Jamaica Tourist Board has also constructed a very strong marketing programme, which begins tomorrow in Canada.

The Minister is therefore scheduled to head to Canada tomorrow with the Director of Tourism, Mr Donovan White. While there, they will be meeting with stakeholders and members of the Diaspora.

“These new marketing arrangements are critical to resilience building. Jamaica is being proactive in our efforts to ensure our markets are secure, so that if there is a fallout from one end, we can pick up on the other end and keep our growth momentum on the level we project,” said the Minister.

“As of now, we have an increment of 150,000 more stopover arrivals for the year so far, which is a record. This represents an 8.6 percent increase over last year. In terms of our earnings, there was an increase of approximately 10.2 percent more earnings. Our initial projection was for US$3.6 billion, but this has now increased to US$3.7 billion,” he added.

MEDIA CONTACT: Corporate Communications, Ministry of Tourism, 64 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5, Tel: 920-4926-30, Fax: 920-4944

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Linda Hohnholz