KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has revealed that the cabinet approved an easing of travel restrictions for Colombians visiting Jamaica, in a bid to boost tourist arrivals from that country. Minister Bartlett outlined that the “cabinet has approved the conditional waiver of visas for Colombian nationals on visit to Jamaica for thirty days or less and for tourism purposes.”
Minister Bartlett added: “Under the current regime, Jamaicans traveling to Colombia do not need a visa, however, outside of diplomats, Colombians require visas to travel to Jamaica. Hence this initiative will facilitate reciprocity and easier passage for our Colombian visitors.”
The Tourism Minister also emphasized: “This move forms part of our ongoing marketing thrust to attract tourists out of South America and is a key element in our strategy to boost tourist arrivals by tapping into emerging markets, specifically South America, as well as Brazil, Russia, India, and China, commonly referred to as the BRIC countries. We are also currently reviewing our arrangements with other countries to determine what additional steps could be taken to facilitate the seamless passage of visitors.”
In welcoming the waiver, Director of Tourism and Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board, (JTB) Mr. John Lynch said: “This arrangement will certainly enhance our marketing initiative in Colombia and bolster our efforts to increase tourist arrivals from that country. It will also complement steps we have taken to improve airlift and increase the number of new airline seats out of Colombia.”
Earlier this year, Jamaica secured some 10,000 new airline seats out of the burgeoning South America travel market, further brightening the prospects for growing tourist arrivals to Jamaica. In August, the JTB and Copa Airlines announced a new flight service between Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport and Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Copa flights through Panama City into Montego Bay will be available from 58 cities in North, Central, and South America.