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Tourism minister seeks new partnerships in US

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett is targeting new and emerging opportunities in the United States (US) for an increased airlift into Jamaica.

Bartlett, who departed the island yesterday to meet with travel agents and other tour operators in Baltimore and Philadelphia, has organised meetings in order to explore new services to Jamaica, a release from the ministry today disclosed.

“Through the Jamaica Tourist Board, we have engaged in an aggressive campaign targeting new and emerging markets. Therefore, this brief trip to the United States is crucial.

“The meetings with travel agents and tour operators in Baltimore last evening were very productive – aiding efforts to cultivate new relationships with travel partners. We will be making a few announcements from this meeting as soon as we have finalized details,” Bartlett said.

The minister, who is joined by Director of Tourism, Donovan White, will meet with executives from the Apple Leisure Group today. The group includes the principals of Apple Vacations, Travel Impressions and CheapCaribbean.com.

The purpose of this meeting is to seek opportunities for an increase in airlift into Jamaica, the release said.

According to the ministry, Apple Leisure Group holds a unique niche in the US travel industry and is the USA's top seller of all-inclusive vacation packages and number one in leisure travel to Jamaica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

The team will also meet with investors about possible developments Frenchman's Cove in Portland, Jamaica.

In 2017, a total of 1,509,963 stopover visitors came to Jamaica from the United States. The annual average growth rate for visitors from the USA over the past five years (2013 to 2017) was 4.4 per cent, the ministry shared.

Bartlett and White will return to the island tomorrow.