When is Jamaica opening for tourists from India?
Jamaica was among the first destinations to reopen to travellers last year and remains one of the most accessible and enticing places for Americans in 2021. Jamaica is accepting tourists from South America, Canada, and the UK. Jamaica recently lifted the ban on travellers from India also. However, it is important to check protocols before you travel as you will be from western gateways.
Requirements and protocols to visit Jamaica are: negative Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Jamaica, completed. You must complete the travel authorisation form and an approval to the entry. And all the other time protocols apply like wearing masks in public places and, maintaining social distancing.
What are your plans for India? How are you planning to attract tourists from the country?
Prior to the pandemic, Jamaica was making good strides in terms of building the destination as the most favoured destination in India. But it was rudely interrupted by the pandemic. And so, we have had to restart all over again. We expect that it will take some time to regain the pre-pandemic numbers and traffic to Jamaica. Presently in the UAE, we are not only promoting Jamaica, but also looking to develop new routes to Jamaica, as well as initiate new opportunities, to make travel to Jamaica from India even more seamless.
Is there any particular segment that you are targeting from India?
We see there is a great opportunity with the wedding market because people who like to or prefer to travel and do destination weddings, tend to have less inhibitions over cost and distance. Post Covid-19, the demographic composition of travellers has changed. They have gotten younger, they have got more adventurous, they have gotten more sensitised to wanting to travel and travel long distances and spend more time. And with Jamaica, a destination that offers so much variety, so much culture, which also resembles some aspects of Indian culture; we believe that we can make a very good push to get more Indian travellers.
When do you see tourism in Jamaica back to the pre-pandemic levels?
The recovery has been very positive. We are enjoying a V-shaped recovery. Presently, the earnings are around about USD 1.4 billion. We anticipate that by the end of 2021, we would probably be around about 1.6 million visitors and about USD 2 billion in terms of earnings. This puts Jamaica in a good position, with all the elements we need, to be in full recovery.
Which are the key source markets that you are targeting?
Our key source markets continue to be USA, other western countries and regional destinations. The recovery has been very positive. We are enjoying a V-shaped recovery. Presently, the earnings are around about USD 1.4 billion.
What is your strategy for India in 2022? Who will you compete with and what are your novelties?
Our key strategy for India is to further enhance visibility as well as awareness and have some key Indian travel trade engaged with partners from Jamaica. It is not about competing but its more about what Jamaica has to offer to Indians as a Caribbean destination.
Cruise tourism, major attraction of Jamaica, has been hit very hard. Do you see that a problem in revival of tourism from India?
Jamaica has had a long experience as a tourist destination, being a favoured retreat for travellers from across the globe. The destination has been one of the best-known resort vacation destinations in the world and currently boasts one of the most diverse visitor accommodation sectors in the Caribbean, including world-famous all-inclusive resorts, upscale hotels and villas, and a range of distinctive tourist accommodations and attractions.
Almost 20,000 players in the tourism industry had the opportunity to benefit from the recent return of cruises to Jamaica. The Carnival Sunrise, the first cruise ship to dock in Jamaica following a 17-month hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, arrived in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on August 16 with approximately 3,000 passengers and crew. Jamaica is constantly trying to get more opportunities to bring back & further expand cruise tourism.