Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Jamaica on track for 50,000 German visitors by 2020

Published:Friday | July 7, 2017 | 7:00 AMJanet Silvera
Edmund Bartlett

WESTERN BUREAU:

Jamaica is on track to welcoming 50,000 German tourists by 2020, with the addition of some 20,000 seats out of Germany.

The announcement comes at a time when the country is experiencing a 24 per cent increase in German arrivals, in comparison to the same time last year.

Speaking at a press briefing during the arrival of new carrier, Eurowings from Cologne/Bonn on Monday, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said between January and April 2017, the country welcomed 9,800 Germans.

"We expect these numbers to increase considerably with the number of seats available," argued Bartlett, adding that the Eurowing inaugural flight had some 291 passengers, plus crew.

He was particularly excited by the prospects, noting that the majority of the passengers, who are from the metropolitan area of the Rhine, were among the most successful Germans, drawing from a demographic that has spending power, and are booked to stay for 14 days on the island.

Eurowings, which will operate two flights per week, Mondays and Fridays, between July 3 and October 27, is part of the Lufthansa family and has already confirmed that the flights will be extended to the winter, revealed Director of Tourism Paul Pennicook.

Eurowings complements Condor, which currently flies to Jamaica from Frankfurt, bolstering a market that had catapulted to 40,000 visitors in the 1980s, when the Caribbean had become a playground for the Germans.

According to Bartlett, Jamaica will return to those numbers and surpass them as a result of the number of seats being made available to stimulate the market.

"We will have 20,000 seats available this summer, and an additional 15,000 throughout the winter, between both carriers," said Bartlett.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com