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More Jamaicans jetting off to Europe as economy improves

Published:Saturday | November 23, 2019 | 12:15 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer

More Jamaicans are taking an interest in Europe, information from the Spanish Embassy in Kingston has revealed.

Victoria Garcia Ojeda, deputy head of mission, said that there has been a 12 per cent increase in travel to countries the Spanish Embassy represents, including Switzerland and France.

“The trends regarding Jamaicans travelling to Europe are on the rise every year. If we consider the EU (European Union) countries this embassy issues visas for the main destinations, being Spain, France, Switzerland, there has been an increase of 12 per cent compared to 2017,” she said.

The Spanish Embassy is expecting a lot more visitors over the Christmas season compared to the 2,800 from 2018.

Ojeda said the increase shows that more and more Jamaicans are visiting Spain and Europe in general.

“The profile is that of artistes and performers that go on tours, as well as tourists doing cruises or visiting one, two or three EU countries, for example, Spain and France at the same time. The increase also factored a rise in business travel from Jamaica to these countries also,” Ojeda said.

Ambassador Josep María Bosch Bessa told The Gleaner that he believes that the improvement in the Jamaican economy has boosted disposable income for overseas travel.

Spain has been for several years been among the largest investors in Jamaica, with tourism stocking the vault of foreign direct inflows.

Spanish investment in Jamaica has amounted to US$1.62 billion over the last two decades.

“The opening of new hotels such as H10 and Princess means an additional investment of US$750 million,” the ambassador said.

He estimated that projected investments in the energy and other sectors could top US$2 billion.