The Tourism Ministry is reporting that more than three times as many Russian tourists visited Jamaica in the first half of the year compared to the similar period last year.
A statement today from the Ministry quotes Senior Advisor and Strategist, Delano Seiveright, as disclosing that just under 3000 Russian tourists visited Jamaica between January and the end of June this year.
This is compared to approximately 630 visitors for the corresponding period in 2018.
According to Mr. Sevieright, the increase in Russian visitors is largely due to new regular nonstop flights between Moscow and Montego Bay.
Mr. Severight says the increase is a welcome sign that Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett’s aggressive airlift push and vision of pursuing new markets are bearing fruit.
Mr. Seiveright made the comments while he addressed the recent Jamaica Product Exchange, JAPEX, event at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
JAPEX is the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association, JHTA’s premier trade event.
Mr. Seiveright says the rapidly growing success of the Russian tourist growth push is also attributable to actions on the Foreign Affairs front and highlights the importance of joined up government.
He says in September last year the Governments of Jamaica and Russia signed a reciprocal agreement to waive the visa requirement for travel to their respective countries.
The agreement, which was inked by Foreign Affairs Minister, Kamina Johnson Smith, allows Jamaicans and Russians to spend up to 90 days per year for tourism, cultural exchange or business purposes.
The Tourism Ministry says Minister Bartlett is currently participating in the 23rd Session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, UNWTO’s General Assembly in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Minister Bartlett is scheduled to meet with a number of Russian and European tourism stakeholders.
The Tourism Ministry says apart from a focus on Russia, similar aggressive new markets growth strategies are also bearing fruit in other markets including South America.