Jamaica sets ambitious goal of reaching 5 million visitors

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Jamaica’s tourism trade appears to have weathered the global recession relatively easily. Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett told delegates to the Caribbean Marketplace show in Montego Bay Monday that the country saw 1.9 million arrivals in 2010, a 4.7% increase over 2009’s figure, which in turn was a 3.6% increase over the previous year. And, said Bartlett, Jamaica has set an ambitious goal of reaching 5 million visitors in five years.

Canada is a “phenomenal market,” with 300,000 Canadians visiting last year, a 7% increase, Bartlett said. Meanwhile, the Air Jamaica name is to reappear in Caribbean and Canadian skies. Air Jamaica merged with Caribbean Airlines but plans now call for the Air Jamaica brand to be reborn this summer, first offering service to London and then Toronto and points in the US. Air Jamaica will focus on leisure travellers.