Jamaica Targeting Japan And India As The Country Continues To Expand Its Source Markets For Tourists.
Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, made the disclosure at a media briefing at the Ministry’s offices in New Kingston last week.
He noted that Japan was a very good market for Jamaica over 20 years ago, before varying factors affecting the Asian nation, including economic issues, resulted in a downturn in arrivals from that country.
But the Japanese economy rebounded and they are doing extremely well as their outbound market is over 20 million travellers and their appetite for Jamaica and the Caribbean is returning, he said.
The Minister said that Jamaica has forged flight arrangements out of Japan with United States-based Delta airlines, which has co-sharing connections with air carriers in Japan. American Airlines, he added, has similar arrangements.
Mr. Bartlett said that the Japanese market is lucrative, with the length of stay of the Japanese visitor being about twice that of tourists from the United States.
The average visitor spend, now, is somewhere in the region of US$125 and he expects that for the Japanese, it perhaps would be closer to US$200 and so he would be expecting a higher level of spend from the Japanese visitor.
In relation to India, Mr. Bartlett pointed out that in addition to the Asian nation being regarded as the fastest growing economy globally, it boasts, arguably, the best wedding market in the world.
Indian weddings are the envy of every destination because they are large and high-spending.
He pointed out that one of the good things about the Indians is that they are very family-oriented. so when there is a wedding, everybody comes for a long period of time and so you end up with a very large and reliable flow from that market.
Mr. Bartlett said Jamaica is seeking to tap into that market, noting that work has already started, partnering with some of the tour operators and travel agents there.
Adding that hopefully, come April next year, Jamaica will be able to participate in a mega event that is happening in India where, hopefully, they will be able to announce air and other connections that will start the flow of Indian tourists into Jamaica.