Bartlett ends global markets blitz with rewarding UK stakeholder engagementsSunday, November 07, 2021
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has described the United Kingdom leg of his recently concluded international markets blitz as “extremely successful”, and it will result in Jamaica benefiting from several new flights and investments.
“Jamaica has been very proactive and aggressive in our promotional activities to our key markets during these uncertain times. It was very important for us to ensure that Jamaica remains top of mind to our stakeholders, while also letting them know that our destination is extremely safe. We have worked diligently to increase vaccination within the sector, and to enforce robust health and safety protocols within our Tourism Resilience Corridor,” Bartlett said.
While in the United Kingdom, the minister and his team of high-level local tourism officials participated in the World Travel Market, where they met with several key European stakeholders and international media.
A major outcome of these engagements was the announcement of Jamaica receiving at least 16 flights per week from the United Kingdom, starting this month. This brings the island back to approximately 100 per cent airline seat capacity as the nation's tourism numbers rebound. TUI, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are offering non-stop flights between Jamaica and the UK cities of London, Manchester, Birmingham.
Senior advisor and strategist in the Ministry of Tourism Delano Seiveright, who accompanied the minister for the UK engagements, noted, “The flights run out of London's Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham airports. Beyond that we are likely to see further schedule changes as our teams continue discussions with our stakeholders.”
The team also met with Amadeus senior executives, who revealed that Jamaica is experiencing one of the world's fastest travel and tourism recoveries, with searches and demand for the destination running 50 per cent ahead of the global average, and travel agent-led bookings and searches “doubling” the global average.
They also shared that the September 30 release of the new James Bond film, No Time to Die, which has many scenes shot in Jamaica, is helping to drive interest in destination Jamaica, too, particularly from the United Kingdom.
“We were very excited to learn about the extent to which the James Bond film has impacted the interest in our destination from the UK market. The Bond film is indeed a fantastic addition to our marketing efforts, and we look forward to welcome Bond-fanatics to our shores,” said Bartlett.
Amadeus's technology and solutions serves as a backbone, and powers the global travel industry including airlines, airports, hotels and railways, search engines, travel agencies and tour operations. Their data shows that Jamaica has a high search and bookings interest in the United Kingdom, which they attributed to the work of the Ministry of Tourism and its marketing arm, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), as well as other key partners in the marketplace.
“The ministry and the JTB has been working around the clock in line with Minister Bartlett's aggressive push to bring back our numbers and the tourism industry back on track in record time. We have maintained, even in the down times, continuous and relentless contact with our many partners to ensure that we can turn things around as quickly as possible,” said Director of Tourism Donovan White, in response to the commendations.
The minister and his team then attended the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK. While there, Bartlett joined forces with tourism industry leaders from Kenya and Saudi Arabia to encourage other policymakers at to make tourism part of the solution to climate change and novel coronavirus pandemic recovery.
Bartlett was accompanied to the UK by John Lynch, chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB); Donovan White, director of tourism; Delano Seiveright, senior advisor and strategist, Ministry of Tourism; and Elizabeth Fox, JTB regional director of the UK and Northern Europe.
The global markets blitz included Jamaica's two largest source markets, the United States and Canada, which reaped massive successes in dramatically boosting airlift to the island and reassuring stakeholders on the COVID-19-related safety of the destination. The minister also led engagements in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia which, in part, will result in the opening of tourism and investment opportunities for Jamaica.
“Our engagements in the Middle East were very eventful for us in trying to carve out the new markets in that region, which will also give us the connectivity to Africa, Asia, and Asia Minor. We have had discussions in Dubai and in Riyadh. The discussions with Saudi Airlines are well advanced and we've had an understanding that there is an ambition for engagement by summer of 2022,” said Bartlett.