Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett and Director of Tourism, Donovan White, have met with World Free Zones Organization (WFZO), Chairman, H.E. Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, in Dubai ahead of the first World Free Zones Organization Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE) to be hosted in the Caribbean.
The prestigious event will take place at Montego Bay Convention Centre, Jamaica 13-17 June 2022.
At the meeting, the dignitaries discussed conference activities, as well building support and sustainability for the cruise sector in the Jamaica and the Caribbean.
The discussions come as part of Minister Bartlett’s world tour to build brand Jamaica and attract inbound tourism in key markets, including the Middle East, Europe and North America. By the conclusion, he expects to have agreements signed for an additional 8,000 new hotel rooms in Jamaica.
His schedule also includes a meeting with representatives of Royal Jordanian Airlines, as part of his vision to establish Jamaica as the hub for the Middle Eastern market for the Caribbean and the Americas.
In a historic first for Jamaica and the Caribbean, Emirates Airlines, the largest airline in the Gulf Coast Countries, is now selling seats to Jamaica. This arrangement opens gateways from the Middle East, Asia and Africa to Jamaica and the rest of the region.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett made the announcement at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai following high-level meetings between Jamaica’s tourism officials and a team from Emirates Airlines led by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority and Chairman & Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai.
According to Minister Bartlett: “This is a major initiative for Jamaica as it is opening the Middle Eastern gateway from Asia and North Africa. It is the first time that Destination Jamaica has been entered into the ticketing system of a GCC airline and gives the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) significant leverage to negotiate direct flights to the destination.”
Discussions began in October 2021 when Minister Bartlett and Director of Tourism, Donovan White made their first visit to Expo 2020 Dubai. Both Norman Manley and Sangster International Airports are now listed in the airline system, with ticket pricing available accordingly. Flights are offered with options including JFK, New York, Newark, Boston and Orlando. One option goes through Malpensa, Italy, allowing access to the European market as well. Importantly, the flights are being sold by Emirates Holidays.
Minister Bartlett’s trip to Dubai is part of a mega marketing tour to further boost growth in the island’s tourism industry, which includes stops in New York, Africa, Canada, Europe and Latin America, with breaks in between. He has highlighted the importance of making tourism the engine of growth for the Jamaican economy, as well as strengthening the links between tourism and other sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture.
AICE 2022 Montego Bay, Jamaica
AICE will come as a major boost to Jamaica’s cruise sector. Held annually, the World FZO AICE is the world’s “must attend” event for free zones and associated entities. It is an opportunity to build awareness among World FZO members and prominent participants from across the globe.
In 2022, the World FZO AICE is heading to Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica, from 13-17 June at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. The Centre is conveniently located along the Elegant Corridor of Rose Hall, Montego Bay. Its oceanfront location and panoramic views offer the very best meeting and convention facilities in the Caribbean.
With a combined total of 139,302 square feet of meeting, exhibition, and ballroom spaces, this world-class facility offers superior event management and first-class service from setting up to moving out. It is close to over 4,000 luxury hotel rooms, a full-service medical facility, and local activities such as major shopping centers, world championship golf courses, restaurants, vibrant nightlife activities, attractions, and only a 15-minute drive from the Sangster International Airport.
Jamaica was voted ‘World’s Leading Family Destination’, ‘World’s Leading Wedding Destination’, ‘Caribbean’s Leading Destination’ and ‘Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board’ by voters of World Travel Awards. The island’s cruise sector was also acknowledged as Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination 2021 and World’s Leading Cruise Destination 2021.