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The "Bolt Bounce" effect sees more travellers from the UK taking Jamaica holidays

  • 26-Sep-12 12:35
  • Jamaica
  • Caribbean News Now

It looks like Bolt's lightening speed has had a lightening effect on the popularity of Jamaica holidays among British travellers seeing that many UK holidaymakers have been inspired by the athlete to visit his native country after watching his incredible performances during the London Olympics 2012. The Jamaica tourism industry is certainly cashing in on the "Bolt Bounce" effect.

The "Bolt Bounce" effect sees more travellers from the UK taking Jamaica holidays

According to Jamaica’s Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Dr Wykeham McNeill, the island is benefiting greatly from an increased influx of tourists arriving from the UK thanks to the effect of the “Bolt Bounce” which has boosted numbers of British visitors arriving to the Caribbean nation for leisure holidays inspired by the sport legend.

The “Bolt Bounce” term comes from the massive impact that the image of the world champion Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt, is having on Jamaica’s tourism industry, as the iconic sports legends represents the nation to the outside world and effectively promotes Jamaica holidays for tourists wishing to learn more about his birthplace and the many wonders and natural landscapes that await the traveller in Jamaica.

After this year’s London Olympics 2012, McNeill noted that the exposure that the Jamaica brand received as a result of Bolt’s winning races had a positive impact on the nation’s tourism and in order to further entice UK travellers, the Jamaica Tourist Board kick-started an online advertising campaign for the UK market in a joint partnership with the famous Jamaican Olympic champion.

During a speech at the annual general meeting of the Association of Jamaica Attractions on Saturday, McNeill announced that the news coming out of London is that bookings for holidays to Jamaica are growing rapidly.

 Jamaica Holidays
Image by: MZcameraeye, on Flickr

He went on to add that while tourist arrivals from the U.S. holiday market might temporarily be affected by the upcoming presidential elections, Jamaica holidays have never been more in fashion for the UK market, with an increase in UK holidaymakers already noticeable, which would help soften the impact of less Americans heading to Jamaica on holiday during this autumn season.

McNeill continued by praising the results of large UK travel agents in boosting the sales of holidays to Jamaica. He added that TUI reported an impressive number of bookings for Jamaica holidays while other travel agents also followed the trend.

"Virgin Holidays say bookings for Jamaica is now trading up 8 percent, although it was previously pacing at 7 percent down," he noted.

"Similarly, we are hearing that Thomas Cook (travel agency) is sold out for Summer 2012; and that Summer 2013 has gone from trading behind 18 percent to pacing 45 percent ahead in the last four weeks," McNeill concluded.

These important achievements are defiant of the recent increase in APD tax imposed by the UK government, which McNeill described as “good news” seeing that after Jamaica’s government being forced to implement a new tax to counteract the effects of the increasing APD, bookings for holidays in Jamaica would normally drop off for a short period, but in this case they have been bosted by the Bolt Bounce.

McNeill also recognised the efforts of the recent Jamaica House activities in London to further promote the destination. He added that Virgin Atlantic has agreed to provide new year-round flights to Jamaica, which will provide some 25,000 new seats resulting in a larger number of visitors to the island. This new flight deal is significantly more than the original 17,000 seats that were being sought, prior to the London games and Jamaica House discussions.

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