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Jamaica’s senior tourism officials meet with tourism partners and community groups during winter marketing campaign in Toronto and Montréal

TORONTO, ON – Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, arrived in Canada last week with a strong and ambitious objective to attract half a million Canadian visitors to the island destination by 2025.

Jamaica’s Director of Tourism, Donovan White, and Fiona Fennell, Public Relations and Communications Manager for the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), joined the Minister from Jamaica on a winter marketing blitz in Toronto alongside JTB Regional Director for Canada, Angella Bennett. The multi-day mission took place from September 20 to 23 and included a series of industry engagements with travel partners, community groups and local media.

Throughout the week, Jamaica’s top tourism officials conducted meetings with senior executives from Air Canada Vacations, Sunwing, Travel Brands, and Canada Jetlines, which begins flying to Montego Bay on November 5. The strategic discussions focused on the integral role that airlines and tour operators will play in driving the destination’s new 500,000-visitor goal, and the importance of collaboration between the JTB and industry partners in order to increase airlift and vacation packages to Jamaica for Canadian travellers.

“Canada represents major potential to attract a significant number of visitors to the island,” noted Minister Bartlett. “We recently revealed an ambitious new goal to target half a million Canadian visitors annually by the end of 2025. Connecting with key tourism partners and stakeholders in the market this month allows us to nurture these critical industry relationships while identifying strategic growth tactics that will help us realize this 500,000-visitor objective.”

As part of its new growth plan, the JTB is looking to tap into the Asian-Canadian diaspora as an important emerging market for the island’s tourism sector. Minister Bartlett highlighted the importance of the Asian demographic and the historical ties between Jamaica and China during his keynote address at the Mandarin Holidays/Sunbook gala event hosted in Toronto on September 20. The event attracted more than 200 travel agents, tour operators and industry representatives who specialize in servicing the local Asian Canadian community.

The delegation from Jamaica also travelled to Hamilton to tour the extensive archive of the Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverly (Miss Lou) at McMaster University. Minister Bartlett heralded the impressive collection of personal artifacts from the beloved Jamaican poet, folklorist, writer and educator. During his time at the University, the Minister also began a dialogue with the leadership to explore the possibility of establishing Satellite Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) for the furtherment of building tourism resilience across the globe.

Additional events and engagements during Minister Bartlett’s in-market mission included a ‘Come Back to Luxury’ dinner event to launch Jamaica’s new luxury-focused partnership with Ensemble, the Edith Baxter Memorial Award luncheon and presentation of the inaugural Resilience Awards by the GTRCMC, and the Canada Regional Jamaica Diaspora Conference.

On Monday, September 25, Director Donovan White, Regional Director Angella Bennett, and PR and Communications Manager Fiona Fennell travelled onward to Montréal to meet with representatives from Air Transat and host a special Destination Update event for French-Canadian travel advisors and industry partners in the Québec region.

“As Jamaica’s second-largest source market, Canada has seen tremendously strong growth over the last year,” noted Director White. “Our arrivals from 2023 are expected to outpace 2022 by more than 40 percent, and this is in large part due to the JTB’s strong working relationships with industry partners in Canada, and our strategic efforts to engage the retail travel community from coast to coast.”

SOURCE Jamaica Tourist Board

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