Jamaica Seeks airlift from Africa

Tourism Jamaica’s Minister Edmund Bartlett is seeking to establish airlift arrangements from Africa during his three-day visit to Kenya for the 90th session of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Executive Council.

In a press release issued from the tourism minstry yesterday, Bartlett said he would use the opportunity during his visit to the African nation to meet with key players in the travel industry with the aim of establishing links that will facilitate visitors from Africa travelling to Jamaica.

Minister Bartlett said “finalising airlift arrangements on the African continent would be a major accomplishment and if this is achieved Jamaica will then be the only destination that has direct connection to every continent, except Australia. This will provide Jamaica with an all-season tourism flow, as with marketing taking place on both sides of the equator, those visitors experiencing winter in the north will be able to travel to Jamaica and once they depart and its winter in the south, those tourists will be able to travel to our country.”

The minister, who travelled to Kenya following a trip to Russia, aimed at securing new arrangements with airlines to significantly boost the number of Russian visitors to Jamaica, revealed that the trip was fruitful.

He outlined that “we have been successful in securing important agreements with Russian airlines and tour operators which will boost airlift from Russia to Jamaica as well as the number of visitors out of that country. However I will outline the details to the nation when I make my contribution to the Sectoral Debate on July 5.”

Jamaica assumed its position on the Executive Council, in January, 2011. Jamaica is one of three representatives of the entire Americas region on the body, which, in consultation with the Secretary General, deliberates on policies and strategies that affect tourism worldwide and then recommends to the General Assembly for action. This is Jamaica’s second instalment on the UNWTO’s Executive Council, the first being in 1996. Jamaica regained its position on the Council in 2010, with its tenure slated to end in 2013.