JAMAICA TOURIST BOARD CELEBRATES REMARKABLE 2023 ACHIEVEMENTS AND SETS SIGHTS ON PROMISING 2024
In the first half of 2023, Jamaica witnessed a significant increase in arrivals from the UK, with a remarkable 69.2% surge in tourist arrivals compared to 2021. This growth has resulted in record-breaking earnings exceeding US $2 billion. This outstanding growth showcases the resilience of Jamaica’s tourism industry in the face of global challenges, affirming its status as a premier travel destination and top Caribbean Island for the UK holidaymaker. As Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism at the Jamaica Tourist Board, explains, “We know that in this post-pandemic world, the need to travel and feed the soul is more important than ever. As we continue our bullish pandemic recovery plan, Jamaica remains a leading global tourist destination with many new developments and hotel openings in the pipeline.”.
In response to the challenges posed by the pandemic, Jamaica embarked on an ambitious tourism recovery initiative in 2022, kicking off with their renowned “Come Back” campaign. Donovan White, Director of Tourism at the Jamaica Tourist Board elaborates, “Our bullish tourism recovery plan has enabled us to set our targets high and implement our latest global advertising campaign, ‘Come Back.'” Jamaica’s recently launched “Come Back” campaign is an invitation to heal one’s soul in the welcoming embrace of Jamaica. The campaign resonates with travellers seeking more authentic, eco-friendly experiences and ways to immerse themselves in unique local cultures. Donovan White, Director of Tourism at the Jamaica Tourist Board, noted, “In this post-pandemic world, the need to travel and feed the soul is more important than ever, and our island meets this need for every type of traveller.”
With plans to introduce 8,500 new rooms by 2025, a 33% room capacity increase, and elevate foreign exchange earnings by nearly 50%, Jamaica’s recovery efforts have been nothing short of audacious and continue to set challenges at new heights. Exciting additions include Excellence Oyster Bay, Wyndham, and a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Visitor statistics reveal a 5.2% increase in stopovers compared to 2019, showcasing the country’s impressive growth and firmly establishing Jamaica as the number one Caribbean destination for UK travellers. This substantial incline in arrivals underscores the unwavering allure of the island. Many accommodation offerings on the island have established sustainable and eco-friendly practices into operations to recognition and certification from international organisations. With sustainability at the heart of its robust tourism strategy, Donovan White points out, “We are incredibly blessed to have such a beautiful asset to work with, and we will always strive to showcase our island to its full potential.”
Jamaica is dedicated to preserving its rich culture and heritage, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the local way of life through community tourism, further expanding its incredibly rich range of offerings for visitors. From learning about the nature-based Rastafarian way of life, to trying out traditional cooking classes, there are numerous ways for visitors to ensure the native culture continues to be protected, respected, and celebrated.
In terms of airlift, a new Norse flight from Montego Bay is scheduled to commence in December, operating four times a week from London Gatwick. The island is already easily accessible from the United Kingdom through daily nonstop flights provided by Virgin Atlantic Airways departing from London Heathrow, British Airways departing from London Gatwick, and TUI departing from Birmingham, Gatwick, and Manchester.
Elizabeth Fox, Regional Director, UK & Northern Europe, underlines the commitment to a brighter future. “We are very happy that Jamaica is the top Caribbean destination of choice for travellers from the UK are grateful to all of our industry partners for their continuous support and faith in our beautiful island. As we look ahead, our team has an exciting line-up of plans for 2024 and are confident that we can continue to grow our destination favourability among UK travellers in 2024 and beyond.”. The Jamaica Tourist Board’s visionary approach to recovery ensures that Jamaica remains at the forefront of global tourism, offering diverse experiences and preserving its rich cultural heritage.
Jamaica’s proactive approach to recovery and sustainability not only cements its position as a top destination for global travellers but also guarantees a rich and authentic experience for those seeking to explore its natural wonders and cultural heritage.