Western News

Non-stop flights between Switzerland, Jamaica soon

Observer staff reporter

Monday, March 12, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James —Jamaica is getting closer to a start-up of regular non-stop flights with Switzerland, one of the major developments coming out of the current ITB global tourism trade show in Berlin, Germany, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said.

ITB is the largest trade show of its kind in the world, attracting around 109,000 visitors and 10,000 exhibitors to trade stands, talks and workshops.

Jamaica was prominently represented with Bartlett, Director of Tourism Donovan White; Senior Advisor Delano Seiveright, and Europe-based JTB officials piloting the island's presence over the last few days.

Bartlett pointed out that “Swiss tourists were among the most travelled globally and Jamaica stood to benefit strongly from non-stop flights between both countries.

“They (Swiss) are excellent vacationers and are keen on Jamaica. Seamless travel between one of their major cities and Montego Bay is central to boosting numbers from there, and we should be rolling soon,” Bartlett beamed.

Meanwhile, Seiveright noted that Bartlett's aggressive European tourism growth strategy, which was being pushed by JTB's efficient continental Europe team headed by Gregory Shervington, resulted in strong gains last year.

“Jamaica welcomed a record 325,804 European tourists last year — approximately 31,000 more than the previous year,” stated Seiveright.

In detailing the importance of effective airlift arrangements with Jamaica, Seiveright pointed to increases in stopover arrivals from several European countries, due to either charter or scheduled flights.

“Tourist arrivals from Spain moved from around 3,000 visitors in 2015 to 7,677 last year; for Portugal we moved from about 900 visitors in 2015 to roughly 3,700 last year; and Germany moved from roughly 20,500 in 2015 to about 30,000 last year — due largely to seamless flight options,” Seiveright argued.

Meanwhile, the Jamaica Observer has learnt that German airline, Eurowings officials confirmed in a meeting with Bartlett and his team at ITB that once-weekly, scheduled, non-stop flights between the German city of Munich and Montego Bay will commence on July 18 of this year.

The airline is already aggressively promoting on its website, www.eurowings.com, fares of between US$500 and US$1,000 for a round trip ticket between Germany and Jamaica. Fares are open to everyone, including Jamaicans wanting to travel to Europe.

In the meantime, Bartlett was awarded the Worldwide Tourism Minister of the Year accolade by the prestigious Pacific Area Travel Writers Association at ITB.

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