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JAMAICA'S Tourism on the Rebound says Bartlett

  • Written by wiredja Newsdesk
  • Published in Tourism
Featured Tourism Minister Ed. Bartlett Tourism Minister Ed. Bartlett
KINGSTON,  Jamaica November 9, 2020 - Jamaica’s tourism sector has started to rebound, with the island welcoming more than 211,000 visitors while generating US$231.9 million in foreign exchange earnings, since the reopening of its borders to international travellers on June 15.

Tourism Minister  Edmund Bartlett, made the disclosure during the virtual launch of the two-day Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) Live 2020 exposition, on Monday .

He said that by the end of September, year-over-year arrivals was down by more than 60 per cent, “but we’re starting to see positive signs of a rebound,” noting that 30 per cent of workers have returned to their jobs.

“We are predicting a 40 per cent increase in arrivals over the coming months, compared to arrivals since reopening in June,” the Minister added.

In terms of airlift, Mr. Bartlett said that most of the major airlines serving Jamaica are increasing service as travellers’ demand picks up.

These include American Airlines, Delta, jetBlue, United, Southwest, Air Canada, WestJet, and Copa, across the region of the Americas.

He further indicated that online travel shopping company, the Expedia Group, also reported that searches on its website for Montego Bay rose 15 per cent in July, pointing out that Jamaica was among the most-searched-for destinations in the Caribbean.

 Bartlett, said that the Resilient Corridors will play a key role as the sector continues on the path to recovery.

The Resilient Corridors, which encompass the majority of the island’s tourism regions, provide the opportunity for visitors to enjoy more of the country’s unique offerings, as many coronavirus (COVID-19)-compliant attractions, located along the Corridors, are authorised for visits by the health authorities.

Bartlett said the fact that visitors can now stay in multiple accommodation facilities within the Resilient Corridors will enable them to experience more than one resort region on a single trip.

“These Corridors were an industry first, allowing us to manage exposure between international visitors and our tourism workers and residents. Our top priority was and still is instilling traveller confidence. We want our travellers to feel safe and confident in visiting us, and at the same time, we want to ensure their experiences are enjoyable and our vibrant persona shines through,” he added.

There are three COVID-19 Resilient Corridors – the North Coast from Negril to Port Antonio; the South Coast from Milk River to Negril; and the Kingston Business District (New Kingston and its environs).

Bartlett noted that since Jamaica reopened the borders to international travellers on June 15, “we have smartly evolved the reopening stages, first requiring travellers to stay on the resort grounds and now giving them freedom to visit attractions within the Resilient Corridors using transportation approved under the Tourist Board Act”.

He informed that there are no known cases of COVID-19 transmission in the Resilient Corridors.

Bartlett said at resorts and hotels, protocols are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including increased physical distancing, wearing of masks in public places, removal of shared or self-service items, installation of handwashing/sanitisation stations, visible cleaning taking place frequently, and more contactless/tech-based transactions.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Minister is reporting that some hotel properties have indicated that they are reaching up to 60 per cent occupancy through a combination of international and local guests, with numbers reaching nearly 90 per cent around the holiday weekends.

“Several hotels are redefining the meaning of luxury to accommodate more private experiences. For example, Eclipse at Half Moon is a major new luxury property at Half Moon Resort that provides the luxury of space, privacy and peace of mind with meticulous health and safety protocols,” Mr. Bartlett informed.

Additionally, renovations are under way on the former Oceana Hotel in Kingston, which will be rebranded ROK – Kingston.

Mr. Bartlett said the 168-room property, overlooking downtown Kingston’s waterfront, will be managed by Hilton through its Tapestry Collection trademark and will be part of a multipurpose complex, including retail, on-site entertainment and commercial office spaces.

“At Chukka’s new Ocean Outpost at Sandy Bay, which offers snorkelling, mountain-to-sea ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicle), dune buggies and water sports, there is an oceanside infinity pool and a new secluded outdoor lounge area called Seaside Sanctuary, which is perfect for physical distancing,” he pointed out.

JAPEX, which is being staged virtually this year for the first in its 30-year history due to COVID-19, runs from November 9 to 10.

It has attracted a record number of participants. They include nearly 2,000 travel agents, more than 250 tour operators, 120 supplier companies, as well as approximately 220 delegates and 137 media representatives.

Among the countries represented are the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Canada, People’s Republic of China, India, Russia, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina.

JAPEX, which is Jamaica’s premier tourism industry marketplace, is a collaboration between the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA).

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Last modified onTuesday, 10 November 2020 19:11
  • Countries: Jamaica