Jamaica Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett. (FILE)
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KINGSTON — Tourism Industry stakeholders are expressing growing optimism about a rapid increase in European tourists as Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett's European growth strategy appears to be paying off.
“We are seeing an increasing number of guests from Continental Europe,” said Elias “Lee” Issa, chairman and owner of one of the leading resort chains, Couples Resorts.
“Europeans have easy access to some of the most exotic destinations in the world, typically stay longer and are among the most seasoned of travellers. So, Minister Bartlett's belief in our destination as a viable option for Europeans, one of the most lucrative markets in the world is very encouraging,” he added.
Senior Advisor and Strategist, Delano Seiveright, noted that Jamaica recorded a 91.3 per cent increase in stopover visitor arrivals from the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) defined Southern and Western Europe region for the month of September 2017 over the same month last year.
“Beyond that, from the same region, we have registered a 41 per cent increase in stopover arrivals from the beginning of this year to the end of September 2017 over the same period last year with Germany, Portugal and Spain registering the biggest percentage gains,” Seiveright quipped.
Bartlett was speaking from Europe, where he participated in a raft of high-level engagements with European travel industry leaders and stakeholders in the UK and Germany. He said that “defined and carefully followed up airlift strategies, effective stakeholder engagements, and strong promotional efforts by the ministry and the JTB are key to the surging numbers from the markets.” (Jamaica Observer)