Jamaica hails rebound as UK numbers exceed 2019

Jamaica is ramping up marketing efforts as it hailed a rebound which has seen UK visitor numbers already exceed pre-pandemic levels.

The Jamaica Tourist Board is forecasting 230,000 UK arrivals in 2022, against 225,000 in 2019, with earnings from the market standing at £365 million against £330 million pre-pandemic.

Director of tourism Donovan White said the destination’s swift reopening in June 2020 and its robust Covid protocols had given customers confidence to return.

He also hailed the ability of partners in the destination to respond to “ongoing challenges in relation to skilled labour shortages and supply chain issues” which meant visitors had still received “first-class service”.

He said: “A year ago we were forecasting full recovery in the first quarter of 2024 but we are now anticipating that at the end of January (2023). We will already be back in growth mode.”

new marketing campaign was designed to appeal to consumers’ desire to return to travelling and “entrench themselves in our culture, our food and our health and wellness”, White added.

In addition to consumer activity, the tourist board will continue to increase engagement with trade partners, with a number of UK agents joining a list of 50 top sellers who will be hosted for a VIP fam.

“Without the trade there is no business,” White said. “That relationship with our travel agents is one we pride ourselves on and we are committed to continuing to nurture.

“We are also in discussions with our airline partners to expand seat capacity and we want to get to a daily service from Gatwick and Heathrow, which we are hopeful of achieving in the next year or two.”

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