Bartlett seeks critical meetings in US, CanadaThursday, September 23, 2021
A delegation comprising Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica's tourism minister, along with other senior tourism officials are now in the US to participate in a series of meetings aimed at increasing arrivals from that market. The delegation will also visit Canada to do the same. The officials will also seek to target further investments in the tourism sector.
Bartlett noted that the trip is critical, as data received by the ministry indicate that the demand for travel to Jamaica has fallen within the last seven days. “This is as a result of the challenges posed by the third wave of COVID-19 impacting the island, as well as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recent Level 4 classification, given to Jamaica for having very high-levels of COVID-19,” he said.
“Jamaica remains a safe destination and we want to reassure our tourism interests of this. A key factor is our Tourism Resilience Corridors, which have a low infection rate of less than one per cent. Our product remains strong and is indeed top of mind, despite the challenges. We will therefore continue to drive the marketing arrangements to minimise any possible fallout,” said Bartlett.
A series of meetings have been planned to engage tourism partners, media, and other stakeholders in the USA and Canada to reassure and bolster confidence in their continued investment projects and the marketing of the destination.
The minister, who left the island yesterday with the Director of Tourism Donovan White, chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board John Lynch, as well as senior strategist in the Tourism Ministry Delano Seiveright, will meet with major tourism investors.
While in the US, the team of tourism officials is also scheduled to meet with executives from American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. They will also meet with officials from major cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean and Carnival, as well as executives from Expedia, Inc — the largest online travel agency in the world, the third-largest travel company in the US, and the fourth-largest travel company in the world.
Other meetings in Canada will focus on marketing and will span all key partners including airlines, such as Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing, Transat, and Swoop. Likewise, they will meet with tour operators, tourism investors, trade and mainstream media, and key Diaspora stakeholders.
“We want to assure our partners, and our visitors that we are doing all that we can to ensure that their visit to the island will indeed be a safe one. Our protocols are in place to ensure that you will be able to visit our attractions and have an authentic Jamaican experience, but in a safe and seamless way,” he said.
Minister Bartlett and the other members of the team are slated to return to the island on October 3, 2021.