Bartlett eyes new markets for tourism

The Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of world heritage.

As the tourism recovery gathers pace amid rising bookings and positive projections, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett is looking to further strengthen the industry by expanding its footprint into new markets.

Already attracting millions of tourists from North America and Europe, the minister said the aim now was to tap into Asia as one of the new tourism markets. As the largest continent in the world, with a population of 4.5 billion, Asia is diversely rich in people, culture and resources.

“This area represents the new frontier for us. We are very strong in the Americas and North West Europe and [are] we are also building strength in South America, but we are relatively stable in the Asian and Middle Eastern markets,” he said in an interview at the 29th edition of an Arabian Travel Market event ( ATM) held recently in Dubai.

Bartlett said that by using the Middle East as a gateway, the intention is to boost connectivity between major cities, particularly India, on the continent.

“India is the next big oyster for us. In fact, we think India has huge potential as a romantic and wedding destination – and Jamaica is the perfect place for weddings. get married on beaches, mountains, river banks, waterfalls or just about anywhere. It’s also a great destination for birthdays and celebrations, and I know Indians have a very strong family and festive tradition. They also love cricket and we play cricket very well,” said Bartlett.

Just recently, the Minister, in stating his intention to tap into these new and largely untapped markets, said the Department of Tourism is poised to capitalize on the popularity of Jamaican cricketer turned reggae artist Chris Gayle, in the using as part of its promotional campaign to attract these visitors. Gayle is currently featured on a compilation album titled The Tropical House Cruises to Jamaica: The Asian Edition which also includes a number of local and international singers.

“Chris Gayle is certainly a huge asset to Jamaica and a pivotal figure in engaging Asians, especially Indians. When you call his name in India, it’s magic, so whatever important values ​​he brings to that commitment, but it can strengthen Jamaica’s presence in that market, that’s something we’re not about to pass on,” Bartlett recently told the JIS.

Referring to the first quarter results which he said were now around 78% of pre-pandemic levels, the Minister believes that by adding these new routes, tourism could be boosted well beyond the expected timeframe. of 2023 for a full recovery.

“The projections are that we will be stronger this summer; we have over a million seats confirmed from the US alone for the summer. This summer is also a high point for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence, so we also expect a flood of diaspora travel from around the world, in addition to the desire of visitors to break the COVID – 19 spells and resolve to start enjoying life again,” he said.

“Bookings for June, July and August have been very strong and we expect that by the end of this year we should exceed 80% of 2019 and exceed 2019 in 2023,” he added.

BARTLETT… India is the next big oyster for us; in fact, we believe that India has enormous potential as a romantic and wedding destination, and Jamaica is the perfect location for weddings

Famous Caribbean cricketer turned artist, Chris Gayle