tourism minister has been inviting more people from the British Isles, including the Irish to visit the Caribbean island. Last month the tourism minister Aloun N’dombet Assamba descended on Ireland and the UK to thank its travel industry partners for their support, foster relationships and put out a rallying call for next year’s Cricket World Cup, which will be hosted in Jamaica, as well as other Caribbean islands.
“The JTB has worked very hard this year with its PR, advertising and relationships,” Assamba told Breaking Travel News as she returned from her trip across the Atlantic.
“For the UK and Ireland traffic was up 30 percent in August and 15 percent for the year to-date. And we expect more with the World Cup. First Choice is coming in with 97,000 new seats, as is Virgin Atlantic Airways.”
The number of Irish visitors to Jamaica showed a massive increase of more than 70 percent in July alone. Virgin Atlantic Airways also launched a twice-weekly flight between London Gatwick and Montego Bay using a Boeing 747-400 in the same month. The new services mean up to 100,000 more visitors will be able to travel between the UK and Montego Bay within the first 12 months.
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) will also be spending $21.3 million in promoting the island’s tourism products as the 2007 Cricket World Cup approaches. Under the marketing campaign, tourism planners will focus on India, China and Ireland.
“We have more hotels coming on line, within three years we will have 5,000 new rooms and there is over a billion dollars of investment in new developments,” explains Assamba.
“We are also negotiating several new air services - opening up Jamaica to both South America and Africa.”
Jamaica claims honours at World Travel Awards
Assamba also accepted the island’s award for Caribbean’s Leading Destination at the 13th annual World Travel Awards which took place at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa in the Turks & Caicos Islands in September.
Minister Assamba also accepted the award Caribbean’s Leading Tourist & Convention Bureau which was received by the Jamaica Tourist Board.
Jamaica’s cruise facilities were the toast of the travel industry when it was named World’s Leading Cruise Destination and the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination (Port Authority of Jamaica).
This was the first time in the history of the awards that Jamaica was being voted World’s Leading Cruise Destination, an honor that solidified Jamaica’s position as a major player in the world cruise business.
William Tatham, Vice President of the Port Authority of Jamaica was on hand to accept the prizes for World’s Leading Cruise Destination and Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination.
The World Travel Awards are considered the most comprehensive travel awards in which travel agents from 200 countries vote to recognize excellence in travel destinations, airlines, hotels and cruise facilities from regions around the world.
This year, more than 167,000 travel professionals world wide, including 110,000 travel agents, participated in the voting in which Jamaica took pride of place amongst the world’s leading tourist destinations.
Commenting on Jamaica’s success in winning the four Awards, Minister Assamba said, “Without the co-operation of our partners throughout the industry and their continued support, winning these awards would not be possible. We extend our thanks and congratulations to all of those whose hard work and excellence in service have proven to travelers and the travel industry alike, that Jamaica is the premier Caribbean destination.”
Chairman of the JTB, Dennis Morrison, stated, “The dedication, innovation and imagination that have been displayed over the years by our tourism partners are being richly rewarded. I specifically want to recognize and thank all the workers in the industry and other sectors whose talents, skills and efforts support the performance of Jamaica’s tourism industry.”
“Being recognized in regional categories is a great honor and winning in a global category, as the World’s Leading Cruise Destination, underscores the fact that Jamaica is a leader in tourism world wide,” Mr. Morrison added.