Jamaica is pushing for 500,000 annual Canadian visitors by 2025.
Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, touched on the goal ahead of his arrival in Canada on Tuesday (Sept. 19) where he will be joined by senior tourism officials on a five-day “winter marketing blitz” with partners in Toronto.
“We have an overarching goal to welcome five million visitors and earn five billion dollars in tourism revenue by 2025. Canada is our second-largest market and we are currently at just above the 300,000 mark and getting to where we were in 2010 when we had up to 400,000 visitors coming from Canada,” Bartlett said in a press release.
“My projections are driven by data, and I have evidence now that the Canadian market is ready to take us to half a million visitors within the next two years.”
Increasing airlift is an important part of the plan.
“We’re going to be talking with Air Canada, WestJet, Canada Jetlines, our new partners, and others to bolster the airlift out of Canada,” the Minister said.
He noted that his meetings in Toronto follow discussions held with Canadian travel partners at the just concluded JAPEX (Jamaica Product Exchange) trade show held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from Sept. 11 to 13.
While in Canada, Minister Bartlett will meet with the President and faculty at McMaster University and tour the Miss Lou Archives, housed in the university’s library.
Additionally, the tourism minister underscored that Canada would play a strategic role in Jamaica’s efforts to engage the Asian visitor market, including India and China.
In keeping with this, he will be the guest speaker at a special event organized by Mandarin Holidays, where more than 100 Chinese travel agents will be in attendance.
Minister Bartlett’s other engagements will include meetings with executives from Air Canada Vacations and Canada Jetlines, as well as travel advisors and tour operators.
He will depart Canada on Monday (Sept. 25) for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he will join other global tourism leaders including officials from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in marking World Tourism Day 2023, which will be observed on Sept. 27.
The tourism minister noted that Jamaica is slated to be the toast of this year’s celebration as a model of resilience and people-oriented investments.
The UNWTO’s theme for World Tourism Day 2023 is “Tourism and Green Investments” and seeks to highlight the need to focus on investing in people, planet and prosperity.
Minister Bartlett noted that: “In Jamaica, Tourism Awareness Week 2023, which runs from September 24 to 30, will be observed under the same theme and will include several activities, beginning with a Thanksgiving Church Service on Sunday, September 24 at the Montego Bay New Testament Church of God in St. James.”