The Jamaica Tourist Board has announced the Caribbean island achieved a record breaking 210,000 visitors from the UK & Ireland in 2016.
Figures just published reveal that 210,103 tourists from the region visited Jamaica in the period.
This represents an increase of 4.34 per cent from the previous year which saw 201,364 visitors pass through Jamaican shores.
These figures do not include cruise visitors – only holidaymakers staying overnight.
Jamaica is hosting more tourists than ever before and is one of the leading Caribbean destinations among UK & Irish holidaymakers.
With the recent announcement that British Airways and Thomson Airways will operate additional flights to Jamaica from the UK, visitor numbers from the region look set to increase even further for 2017.
British Airways is adding a fourth weekly flight to Kingston, Jamaica. Beginning April 2017, the London Gatwick/Kingston flight will afford visitors more options to the Caribbean destination and in addition to travellers will now find it much easier to get to the island’s picturesque north coast from Kingston via the new north/south highway.
Thomson Airways will also add approximately 7,000 extra seats into Montego Bay this summer on the Dreamliner from Glasgow and Stansted Airports.
With gastronomy now a key consideration for holidaymakers around the world, Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism for Jamaica, set out his vision last year to tap into the lucrative gastronomy tourism market to lure more visitors to island.
Since taking office, Bartlett has been laying the foundation for the growth and diversification of Jamaica’s tourism industry through five new networks including gastronomy, sports and entertainment, health and wellness, shopping and knowledge.
The minister’s push towards food tourism was one of the driving forces behind the increase in visitors to Jamaica in 2016 as holidaymakers looked towards more authentic culinary experiences and offerings on the island beyond the nation’s most well-known dish – jerk chicken.