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London, United Kingdom – August 9, 2017: Headlining a packed dinner with United Kingdom (UK) Travel Industry executives in London, Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett charged them to increase to 250,000 the number of UK stopover tourist arrivals to Jamaica, thereby exceeding Barbados as the leading Caribbean destination for British visitors.
Last year Jamaica saw 210,000 tourists from the UK, just a few thousand less than the 218,000 UK stopover visitors to Barbados, that country’s main source market for tourists and historically the favourite in the Caribbean for Brits.
Minister Bartlett, speaking at a dinner at the popular Boisdale restaurant in London’s busy financial district, Canary Wharf, charged UK Travel executives to aggressively build on last year’s 5.8 percent growth and the near 40 percent growth in British tourists visiting Jamaica over the last three years.
“Jamaica is hot. With a repeat visitor rate of 40 percent and a surge in wedding and honeymoon UK vacationers, including Prince Harry and dozens of his friends coming to Jamaica recently, we can easily eclipse our friendly neighbor Barbados, commonly known as Little England, as the number one destination for Brits in the Caribbean,” Bartlett noted.
Bartlett is leading a small team of tourism officials to London, UK for a blitz of engagements with industry stakeholders across the airline, hotel, tour operator, travel agency and media sectors. The visit is timed with IAAF World Championships at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
As part of promotional efforts timed with the Championships, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in conjunction with travel industry partners had 150 of London’s famed black taxi cabs emblazoned with the moniker Less Traffic and More Jammin coupled with colourful Jamaica-themed images depicting an inviting scene of the island. Additionally, the JTB has pushed and sponsored Jamaica Garden Terrace at the popular Scottish-influenced Boisdale Restaurant featuring Jamaican food as well as musical performances from well-known Jamaican artistes. Over a 120,000 people work in close proximity to the Terrace, an area with headquarters to many well-known banks, financial institutions and professional services firms such as Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC, JP Morgan, KPMG, Morgan Stanley, RBC and Reuters to name a few.
Bartlett is accompanied by Chairman of the JTB, John Lynch; Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook, Senior Advisor/Strategist, Delano Seiveright and Deputy Director Marcia McLaughlin along with JTB officials based in the UK.