Poland, Jamaica non-stop flights start

Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

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MONTEGO BAY, St James —Jamaica yesterday welcomed the first once weekly non-stop flight service from the European nation of Poland.

The charter flight, operated by TUI — the world's largest tour operator — will depart from Poland's capital city of Warsaw every Tuesday at 8:30 am and arrive in Montego Bay at 3:20 pm with a flight duration of more than 10 hours, using a Boeing 767 aircraft with 279 seats.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, who made the announcement from London where he is on official business, pointed out that the Ministry of Tourism's European market strategies are bearing fruit.

“We are systematically building out key markets with the aim of achieving our growth targets. Many of the Polish people enjoy Jamaican culture, especially reggae music, and we want to ensure they can get here and as seamlessly as possible,” Bartlett stated during a telephone interview with the Jamaica Observer.

With a population of 38 million, an expanding middle class and a growing economy, Polish tourism industry stakeholders are keen on seeing the market further strengthen over the coming year.

Senior advisor and strategist to the tourism minister Delano Seiveright noted that there has been a steady increase in Polish arrival to the destination since last year, and with the commencement of the non-stop service, further growth is anticipated.

“TUI started direct service from Poland late last year with a stop in the Dominica Republic. We have seen a tripling in the number of Polish tourists since then, moving from around 900 between January and September of last year to around 2,700 for the same period this year. Now with this non-stop service, we are looking at even stronger growth going forward,” Seiveright said.

He further noted that Bartlett and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) held meetings with TUI in Berlin, Germany, in March of this year to discuss further expansion across continental Europe.

“We have made very strong inroads and the collaborative effort is working. Minister Bartlett is again slated to meet with TUI leadership in Berlin, Germany this week,” he said.

In the meantime, JTB Regional Director for Continental Europe Gregory Shervington stated that: “There is an effective co-op marketing campaign, shared equally between JTB and TUI in Poland, that continues with a mix of marketing activities, with a focus on strong digital engagement, in-store promotions, as well as a familiarisation trip on the flight [yesterday] will see 20 travel agents on the island for a week of full activities.”

Meanwhile, pointing to the broader growth strategies of the tourism ministry and its agencies, Seiveright stated that they are placing significant emphasis on increased airlift, rebuilding the Canadian market, boosting numbers out of the USA and Europe, enhance collaboration with cruise operators, the building out of new rooms, enhancing relationships with non-traditional players like AirBnb, and driving the development of the linkages networks — in part, aimed at enhancing product offerings and experiences and spreading the benefits of tourism deeper into the Jamaican economy.

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