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Canada and UK bolster Jamaica's arrival figures
2013-07-03 09:30:55 | (0 Comments)
Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
Despite a 3.1 per cent decrease in visitor arrivals this past winter, Jamaica is already reporting a rebound of 9.0 per cent in one of its most important source markets – Canada.
This has been bolstered by an unprecedented growth of 10 per cent in the UK market in the last two months.
"We have already had growth in stopover arrivals in May (2.3 per cent) and June (3.2 per cent).
On a more positive note, figures for May, the first month of summer, are showing a rebound in the Canadian market (9.0 per cent) and in May we returned to growth out of the UK for the first time in a long while (almost 10 per cent)," Dr Wykeham McNeill told Parliament during his sectoral presentation yesterday.
He is upbeat noting that market research, airlift and forward bookings indicate that the summer is looking good.
His announcements come in the wake of the arrival of the inaugural flight of Air Canada's new leisure carrier Rouge, at the Norman Manley International Airport Monday.
"Importantly our airlift is up, especially out of Canada and we have concluded arrangements for additional seats out of the UK and Europe," he stated, adding that Rouge's arrival in Jamaica marked a truly historic occasion.
"This was the first flight by the carrier anywhere in the world.
Mr Speaker, they could have gone to any destination, but they chose Jamaica."
He said this spoke volumes of the strong relationship between Jamaica and its Canadian tourism partners.
"We are confident that the addition of this innovative new vacation airline will bolster our efforts to boost arrivals out of Canada, which is now our second biggest source market."
Even as the minister spoke in Parliament, another important carrier, Virgin Atlantic, out of the UK, was signaling its continued commitment to Jamaica.
"Jamaica remains a vital market for Virgin Atlantic.
We have increased the capacity on the London/Montego Bay route with an extra frequency of our newly refurbished 747 in summer 2012.
We are forecasting growth in both the inbound leisure traveller, and the outbound "visiting, friends and relatives" Jamaicans traveling to the UK," Virgin's regional head of sales, marketing and communications, Andre Bello, stated in an exclusive statement to The Gleaner Tuesday afternoon.
He pointed out that the immediate benefits to customers from the VA/Delta merger will come today (July 3, 2013), when travel across the codeshare routes begin.
"The JFK/MBJ Delta flight is one of these codeshare flights (subject to government approval).
Customers will be able to "earn and burn" on either airline.
SkyMiles and Flying Club loyalty programmes will offer up to 125 per cent tier bonus miles to frequent fliers on all Delta and Virgin Atlantic flights – not just those within the codeshare agreement."
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Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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