UK visitor figures to Jamaica are up 12.8 per cent for the period January to June 2007 compared with the same period last year.A total of 95,591 Brits visited the island this year leading tourism officials to predict another bumper year for Jamaica out of the UK.
The Jamaica Tourist Board’s Regional Director for UK, Ireland and Northern Europe, Elizabeth Fox said: ‘Jamaica saw a strong start to 2007 with steady growth in visitor numbers each month. As the year progressed we have continued to see this strong pattern sustained through the duration of the year. ’
She goes onto say: ‘We can attribute Jamaica’s growth in visitor traffic to a number of factors. Our dedicated advertising campaign highlighting the huge diversity of experiences on offer provides us with excellent exposure. We also operate a very successful online training programme, and have recently announced our 2000th Jamaica Travel Specialist to have completed the training. Educating travel agents on Jamaica’s abundance of fantastic attractions, mouth watering food, quality accommodation and warmth of the Jamaican welcome is key to our strategy and we are grateful to them for their ongoing support and enthusiasm for Jamaica.’
In 2006, Jamaica welcomed 175,363 UK visitors to the island, representing a 17.1 per cent increase on 2005. The annual growth rate over five years from 2002 to 2006 is 9.1 per cent. 75 per cent of Jamaica’s UK visitors in 2006 were holiday makers, 13 per cent were visiting friends and family and 6 per cent of visitors were generated by business travellers.
In 2006, just over 3 million worldwide visitors travelled to the island, earning the country an estimated $US2billion. Jamaica’s new Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett has just unveiled his new tourism vision for the island and has set a target of 5 million visitors by 2010. Europe represents the biggest growth area for Jamaica with Ireland as a key emerging market. Figures from Ireland this year have doubled compared with those of last year, testament to the strong relationship between the two countries.
The Jamaica Tourist Board employs designated regional sales representatives to support agents and tour operators throughout the UK with sales initiatives, agent training, promotional opportunities and regular shop visits.