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KINGSTON, Jamaica; March 13, 2017: With Jamaica welcoming just over 20,000 German tourists last year, Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett has mandated the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and key Tourism officials to double that number to 50,000 German tourist arrivals into the island by 2020.
He made the point while meeting with the leadership of the world's largest tour company TUI Group in Berlin, Germany. Minister Bartlett noted that the Tourism Ministry and the JTB will be working closely with TUI to achieve the target. TUI Group brought over 150,000 tourists to Jamaica's shores last year.
TUI Group is the largest leisure, travel and tourism company in the world, and owns travel agencies, hotels, airlines, cruise ships and retail stores. The group owns six European airlines - the largest holiday fleet in Europe - and nine tour operators based in Europe. TUI is jointly listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange as a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
TUI Senior Board Director David Burling noting Jamaica's important position in the company's growth plans over the next 5 years, highlighted the island's "premium destination" with a very rich culture and high repeat business. He urged the Minister to increase Jamaica's hotel room count in order to effectively secure more business and growth in coming years.
Meanwhile, Bartlett highlighted a stream of hotel investments that are now completed or in phases of construction to assist with rising demand.
Bartlett who was joined in Germany by Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook; Senior Advisor and Senior Communications Strategist, Delano Seiveright and other senior tourism officials announced earlier in the week that one of Europe’s leading airlines, Eurowings, a subsidiary of one of the world’s biggest airline companies, Lufthansa, will begin operating twice weekly scheduled service between Germany’s largest populated metropolitan region and Montego Bay beginning July 3 this year.
The scheduled flights will operate every Monday and Friday from Cologne/Bonn, and will use their Airbus 330 aircraft which has 310 seats. Flights will run from July 3 through to October 27, 2017 and will bring over 10,000 seats from Germany for the summer. Already Eurowings has informed Bartlett and his team that they will extend the service into the winter with those seats opening up for sale within days.
The new scheduled service will complement weekly charter services operated by German air carrier Condor from the German cities of Frankfurt and Munich into Montego Bay.
Seiveright noted that Germany is being surgically targeted by Bartlett as he ramps up efforts to boost Jamaica’s tourism sector and contribute more significantly to the country’s growth and development.
Bartlett and his team recently left Berlin, Germany after participating in the largest tourism tradeshow in the world, ITB Berlin and the International Hotel Investment Forum.
Bartlett following a meeting with Jamaica's Honorary Consuls from around Germany and wider Europe at Jamaica’s Embassy in Berlin, signalled his intention to appoint several of Jamaica’s Honorary Consuls in Europe as, unpaid, Tourism Advisors to his office, as he works on significantly boosting market share for tourists to Jamaica from several key European countries including Germany.
He will complete the move following consultations with Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Hon. Kamina Johnson-Smith.
Bartlett also participated in a special press briefing to boost publicity worldwide for the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) historic Global Conference on Building Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism for Development, which has now seen the World Bank Group come on board as partners. The event, which is being hosted by Jamaica, will run from November 27 to 29, 2017, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.