Jamaica revealed that UK arrival figures for October with a year on year increase of more than 18 per cent. The Island welcomed some 14,733 visitors from the UK during October this year compared to 12,480 for the same period in 2005.
October’s increase of 18.1 per cent marks the 14th consecutive month that Jamaica has reported considerable growth from this market, representing the increasing interest in Jamaica as a destination here in the UK. This interest was ever present at last week’s World Travel Market where the Jamaica Tourist Board enjoyed a wide range of productive dialogue with operators, agents and air lines. Responding to the increasing demand from the UK market, some 26 exhibitors from the private sector were on hand to introduce travel professionals to the diverse range of tourism products, properties and attractions on offer in Jamaica.
Jamaica’s newly appointed Director of Tourism, Basil Smith, made his debut appearance in the UK at WTM where he met with key members of the travel trade. Mr. Smith and the team were joined in the UK by cricketing legend and Jamaica’s ambassador for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, The Hon. Dr. Courtney Walsh O.J.
With the Cricket World Cup just months away, fans descended on the stand in force on Tuesday when Mr. Walsh arrived to talk about the plans for the auspicious event next March.
As excitement built around the cricket Jamaica’s Appleton Rum was the name, and the taste, that was on everyone’s lips as visitors took the opportunity to taste one of the world’s oldest and rarest blends - Appleton Estate Master Blenders’ Legacy.
Speaking about this year’s WTM, Jamaica Tourist Board’s Regional Director for UK, Ireland and Northern Europe, Elizabeth Fox commented, “Jamaica enjoyed a very positive WTM. Despite operators reporting a slow booking season for the long haul market we’ve continued to experience a significant increase in visitors to Jamaica, a result of the diverse number attractions on the Island together with an increase in quality accommodations on offer. We met a wide range of operators and airlines, and believe that Jamaica will continue to enjoy increased visitor numbers out of this market in 2007.”