Sun | Jul 15, 2018

Increased tourist arrivals expected from China

Published:Thursday | July 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) says current signals are indicating that the island can expect an increased rate of tourist arrivals from China.

Jamaica's overall tourist arrivals rose by 2.2 per cent to 773,108 arrivals for the period January to April 2016 when compared to the corresponding period last year.

This was due in part to an increase in arrivals from China, statistics from the Jamaica Tourist Board revealed.

An overall increase of 6.9 per cent was experienced in arrivals from this region for the first five months of the year, especially when compared to the same period last year.

Omar Robinson, president of the JHTA, said: "The Chinese market is one of the fastest growing markets over the last decade, with increased spending on outbound travel. Jamaica stands to benefit a great deal, as the Yuan continues to strengthen and Chinese expenditure increases globally especially on travel".

Robinson continued: "Air China currently has flights from Beijing to Havana, Cuba, three times a week and we anticipate that with increased travel to Cuba in the coming months Jamaica will see spill overs from those Cuban visitors; as part of the multi-dimensional travel previously discussed by the minister of tourism."

Statistics released by the Jamaica Tourist Board revealed that Chinese arrivals from January to April 2016 stood at 3,254, a five per cent increase from last year when compared to 3,100 for the corresponding period.

Chinese visitors

Last year the growth margin was boosted since travel requirements were relaxed considerably in 2014 to allow Chinese visitors to enter the island and stay for up to 30 days without a visa.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett is expected to start a tourism promotion campaign targeting the Chinese market, in a bid to attract more tourists, and has said that the country expects a heavy influx of Chinese tourists this year.