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Bartlett seeks an increase in Russian tourists taking Jamaica holidays

  • 22-Jun-11 09:49
  • Jamaica
  • The Moscow Times

Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica's Tourism Minister, is heading to Russia this week to meet with OAO Aeroflot in order to finalise an agreement which is part of a plan aimed at increasing the number of Russian tourists taking Jamaica holidays, from 1500 to 3000.

Bartlett seeks an increase in Russian tourists taking Jamaica holidays

Edmund Bartlett, Jamaican Tourism Minister, is keen on seeing an increase in the number of Russian tourists taking holidays to Jamaica so he is heading over to Russia this week to work on an agreement with OAO Aeroflot.

Bartlett is looking to form establish an agreement that will increase the number of tourists going on Jamaica holidays from 1,500 per year to 3,000.

Earlier this month, the Tourism Minister visited Brazil where he signed several agreements including one with Brazil’s largest airline, Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA, and the tour operator CVC, to bring at least 12,000 more travellers from Latin American next year.

"We are moving into new markets, such as South America and Eastern Europe,” Bartlett said last week. "The economies of South America are showing buoyancy in growth and the expansion of middle class in that area."

Tourism in Jamaica accounts for approximately 50 per cent of the Caribbean island’s foreign exchange revenue. The nation’s gross domestic product is expected to increase by 2 per cent in 2011 as tourist revenue grows 3 per cent to a record-breaking $2.2 billion.

Bartlett added that annual increases in revenue will quicken as more visitors arrive on Jamaica holidays from Russia and Brazil, leading to higher occupancy levels in Jamaica hotels.

Jamaica is also negotiating with its northern Caribbean neighbours, Cuba and the Dominican Republic to introduce double-drop flights which will allow countries to share the tourists who are taking holidays in Jamaica, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. This may also help Jamaica to take advantage of the expected influx of travellers from the United States who are heading to Cuba, as the restrictions are eased under the ongoing U.S-Cuba travel embargo.

"Cuba will present some novelty to the North American market, but the North American market is huge," Bartlett added. "We've already made arrangements with the Cuban tourism authority for a multi-destination marketing and multi-airlift arrangements. The discussions I am going to be having in Russia will focus a bit around a double-drop arrangement at Havana and Montego Bay."

China is also interested in investing in a casino project in Jamaica but tourism from China would depend on the additional infrastructure investments at Jamaican airports. The Chinese investment could also to lead to the Asian country spending on Jamaica’s roads, the sugar industry, sports infrastructure and a new convention centre.

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