In a bid to boost Jamaica’s share of the lucrative South American travel market, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has departed the island en route to three Latin American countries where he will engage critical tourism stakeholders during a weeklong visit to the region.
“South America’s economic recovery to pre-pandemic levels has been quite impressive and we’re confident that this is a good time to pursue opportunities for collaboration between Jamaica and tourism players in that region,” asserted Minister Bartlett.
“Prior to COVID-19, we would have observed significant interest coming from the Latin American market and post-pandemic, the demand has increased. Given this trajectory, we are excited about the future and developing our market share in this side of the world, as we seek to foster the continued growth of our tourism sector,” Minister Bartlett added.
Over the course of eight days, Minister Bartlett and other tourism officials are scheduled to visit Buenos Aires in Argentina, Santiago in Chile and Lima, Peru. The scheduled engagements will involve a series of meetings with representatives of various local authorities, ministries of tourism and Copa Airlines, one of the major carriers in the region.
Before COVID-19, there were some 11 weekly flights between Panama and Jamaica via Copa Airlines and new services by LATAM Airlines with some three flights per week between Lima, Peru and Montego Bay.
In this regard, Minister Bartlett added: “Our mission is to enrich the relationship with Latin America and bolster visitor arrivals coming from the south as we strive to meet our target of 5 million annual visitors by 2025. I was recently in Ecuador for the UNWTO Regional Commission for the Americas Meeting and the feedback coming from our partners there was overwhelmingly positive and encouraging, so we must strike while the iron is hot.”
Minister Bartlett will also meet with representatives from local universities to discuss expanding the Jamaica-based Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre’s (GTRCMC) presence in South America.
The tourism minister and the other Jamaican representatives are scheduled to return to the island on Friday, August 4.