Tourist arrivals to Jamaica jump in October - Canadian stopovers ...
By Devon Evans, Gleaner Writer
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has expressed confidence that Jamaica will surpass last year's record 1.7 million tourist stopover arrivals in the wake of news that October's figures showed a nine per cent jump.
And if last month's statistics were something to shout about, word that the first 10 months of this year have already seen a 45 per cent increase in stopover arrivals from Canada couldn't have come at a better time.
He said gains made in the Canadian market have enabled the country to eclipse Europe as the second most productive market in the tourist sector for Jamaica.
Last year, Jamaica received 153,000 visitors from Canada. Figures from January to June of this year show a total of 107,000 stopovers from Canada. Bartlett said Jamaica will target 200,000 Canadian visitors next year.
The Tourism Minister was guest speaker at the 14th annual Canadian Travel Industry Golf Tournament Awards Banquet at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios in St. Ann on Saturday night.
The tournament is sponsored annually by the Baxter Travel Group of Canada in association with Sandals Resorts.
Envy of the caribbean
Bartlett pointed out that the 45 per cent increase in visitor arrivals from Canada has placed Jamaica in an enviable position among its Caribbean neighbours, whose growth rates are usually flat during this period.
He praised the Jamaica Tourist Board representatives in Canada, led by regional director Sandra Scott, for a job well done.
The minister also lauded founder and head of the Baxter Travel Group, Edith Baxter, for her pioneering role in promoting Jamaica as a golfing destination.
"We want to nurture and keep that relationship going for as long as we can," he added.
Bartlett announced that the Government intends to strengthen the country's capacity as a golfing destination. He said the ministry has already begun working with the professional golf associations and providers in the business in an effort to attract more top-class golfers to the island.