The Jamaica Tourist Board has reported a significant increase in UK visitors returning to the Caribbean island with more than 15,000 arrivals in January, 18,000 arrivals in December and 16,000 arrivals in November.
The latest arrival data indicates the paradise island, winner of “Caribbean’s Leading Destination” at World Travel Awards, is almost on course to return to the pre-pandemic volume of visitors. Across the year, British travellers to Jamaica reached 74,290 in 2021 compared to 225,000 in 2019.
The Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica said: “The recent increase in arrivals from UK visitors augers well for 2022. We are encouraged to see the results of the hard work of everyone in Jamaica to successfully rebuild tourism. Our airline partners responded to our careful and thorough resilience planning by committing to return and to increase airlift to Jamaica. From June 2021, Virgin Atlantic increased to five flights per week and British Airways operates five per week. By October that year TUI had also relaunched with six flights a week to Jamaica. We are now poised and ready to welcome all our British visitors to return – particularly in 2022 the year of our sixtieth anniversary of independence.”
Jamaica reopened its borders in June 2020 with a Jamaica CARES programme which focused on extensive health and safety protocols, which were developed in conjunction with authorities across health and tourism sectors. As a result, Jamaica was among the first to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safe Travels recognition.
Strong visitor numbers for December also followed hard on the heels of the news of the relaxation of Jamaica’s Covid-19 requirements. From 1 March 2022, people arriving in Jamaica no longer need to complete a travel authorisation form before arriving in the country. Travellers 12 years of age and older will only need to provide a negative COVID-19 Antigen or PCR test result conducted within 72 hours prior to their travel.
Elizabeth Fox, regional director UK and Northern Europe, said: “2022 is the year to return to Jamaica and we’re already achieving a great increase in honeymoon enquiries. Jamaica has definitely been top of mind for British travellers recently – from absorbing beautiful shots of Port Antonio filmed in the James Bond No Time to Die film through to cheering on our bobsled sportsmen and women during the winter Olympics. We are ready for visitors to return and promise them a holiday of a lifetime.”