TORONTO — Jamaica has wrapped up a whirlwind month of events and presentations in the Canadian market, with Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, making the most of the Canada mission by champion increased airlift, new development and collaborative relationships.
Jamaica’s top tourism officials touched down in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal this month to launch the island’s ‘Come Back’ campaign, and meet with tourism stakeholders and government officials.
As the fifth fastest recovering country in the world, Jamaica is on track to welcome three million visitors by the end of the year. And despite Canada’s strict travel restrictions in early 2022, tourist arrivals and revenues from this market are rebounding at a faster pace than expected, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board.
Minister Bartlett and Director of Tourism, Donovan White were joined by Angella Bennett, Jamaica Tourist Board Regional Director for Canada, for the four-day mission that took place from Nov. 15 – 18. The multi-city campaign included official launch parties for Jamaica’s new ‘Come Back’ marketing campaign, meetings with Canadian airlines and tour operators, discussion forums with investors and academic institutions, media interviews, and meetings with Canada’s top government officials.
“As Jamaica’s second-largest source market, Canada has played a critical role in our successful recovery,” said Minister Bartlett. “As we look ahead, we are focused on working with travel partners to increase airlift and launch new routes into the destination, exploring new investment and development opportunities, and building collaborative relationships to enhance the resilience and sustainability of the tourism sector across the globe.”
Jamaica’s signature hospitality was on full display as Minister Bartlett and Director White unveiled the destination’s ‘Come Back’ campaign at receptions in Toronto and Montréal. Tour operators, travel agents, hotel partners, journalists, and diaspora communities were invited to celebrate the official Canadian debut of Jamaica’s new marketing campaign, which invites travellers to come back to their best selves through vibrant promotional images and videos showcasing the island’s natural beauty and local talent.
On November 16, the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Ministry of Tourism partnered with the Consulate-General of Jamaica and the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) to host the first-ever Jamaica Tourism Investment Forum in Toronto. The event brought together more than 50 top-tier investors and representatives from the worlds of real estate, tourism, manufacturing, finance, and academia.
Minister Bartlett and Director White were joined on stage by fellow panelist Stephen Charoo, Consul for Trade and Investment Canada Region at JAMPRO, for a conversation highlighting the many prospective opportunities for land development and real estate investment on the island. Panelists discussed how conscious and holistic growth strategies are being employed to maintain an inclusive and sustainable tourism product. Lincoln Downer, Consul General of Jamaica, served as the moderator for the forum.
The Jamaica delegation then travelled to Canada’s capital city on Nov. 17 to host a Resilience Forum at Carleton University. Minister Bartlett and Director White met with Dr. Bettina Appel Kuzmarov, Associate Vice-President of Carleton University; Dr. Jean Charles Le Vallée, Canada Representative at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture; and Carleton graduate students to share insights on the importance of global travel and tourism resilience. The group also discussed the establishment of an Ottawa location for the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre. The Centre’s first Canadian satellite location opened in April 2022 at George Brown College in Toronto.
During his time in Ottawa, Minister Bartlett conducted in-person meetings with Canada’s Minister of Tourism, Randy Boissonnault; Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Sharon Miller; and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maninder Sidhu.
The Jamaica delegation also hosted meetings in Toronto and Montreal to connect with executives from Canada’s major airlines and tour operators, including Air Canada Vacations, WestJet, Swoop, Sunwing, Air Transat, and TravelBrands.
“Jamaica is on a mission to recover and grow travel from Canada,” said Bennett. “Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Jamaica Tourist Board and the support of our Canadian airline partners, we have secured 283,000 seats into Montego Bay and Kingston for the 2023 winter season, an increase of 26,000 more seats than 2019.”