With Jamaica’s tourism buoyed by a full recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism has now set its sights on targeting 250,000 visitors from Latin America (Latam) over the next five years.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett is currently in Latin America with a team of senior tourism representatives as part of a high-level strategic re-engagement of the region.
“The Latin America region has over 600 million people, a growing middle class, and represents one of the largest source markets for Jamaica that we must capitalise on.
With travel fully returned and the potential of new airlift out of the region, we are building out strategies to attract these visitors,” Bartlett said in a release from the Ministry of Tourism. In 2019, Jamaica welcomed over 38,000 visitors from Latam, and the island was poised to increase this number in 2020, but then COVID hit.
Coming out of the pandemic, in 2022, Jamaica was able to welcome over 22,000 visitors from the region. The Tourism Ministry’s Senior Advisor and Strategist, Delano Seiveright reflected that in 2019, prior to the pandemic, Jamaica welcomed over 12,000 out of Chile and Argentina in South America.
” It is important to recall that in 2019 when we really went into building up the South American market, we had 12, 000 visitors plus from Chile and Argentina alone,” Seiveright said. “We had 11 flights per week with Copa, we had new flights coming out of Peru with LATAM, which is the largest airline in South America, and then the pandemic came.
So we are now rebuilding with the intent to welcome at least 250,000 visitors over the next five years and some believe that is a conservative estimate. In any event, we will achieve it the interest is very strong” he added.
He said during discussions, Copa has agreed to increase flights into Kingston and Montego Bay, respectively, early next year. “And we have also had discussions with LATAM, which again is the largest airline in South America, to re-engage service between Lima, Peru, which is a very important hub in South America and Montego Bay. So we were very happy with the very strong interest so far,” Seiveright stated.