Despite a global drop in the number of holiday travellers, Jamaica has managed not only to keep but raise its market share, posting worldwide visitor figures that show a 3.6 per cent rise.
Jamaica is still a top destination for British travellers seeking holiday sun with nearly 200,000 choosing the Island in 2009. Despite fewer Britons travelling abroad on holiday, with a decrease of 15 per cent* in 2009 from the UK to all destinations, visitors from the UK to Jamaica dropped by only 2 per cent.
“In the world of travel, flat is the new black at the moment,” said Elizabeth Fox, Jamaica Tourist Board’s UK regional director. “Comparatively a two per cent drop in arrivals is better than expected and better than many destinations are experiencing. We feel quite positive about the year ahead and expect to see at least a six per cent rise in tourism.”
The predicted rise is due to several factors including the increase in air capacity to the Island - British Airways has recently added direct flights twice weekly - and the Minister of Tourism’s commitment to spending resources on sprucing up airports, roads and resort areas.
The UK is one of Jamaica’s most important long haul markets, representing over 10 per cent of total visitation.