Jamaica Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, believes the planned return of TUI, the world’s largest tourism company, to Jamaica will be a game changer for the tourism sector moving forward.
The announcement of TUI’s return follows the UK Government’s decision to lift its advisory against all non-essential travel to Jamaica.
TUI is expected to restart flights to the island in a matter of days, after suspending them in August due to the UK Government’s advice to residents against non-essential travel to the island due to the COVID-19 threat, which dealt a major blow to tourism.
Minister Bartlett described the decision by TUI to resume flights to Jamaica as “welcome news for our tourism industry which is bouncing back from the worldwide fall-out caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” He said, “This has removed the uncertainty that confronted us from the UK market, which is among our largest source markets for travelers.”
Minister Bartlett expressed that “TUI’s return will be a game-changer as it will spur a steady flow of visitors from the UK on which many local properties and tourism partners depend. So, the economic impact will be significant not just for tourism but the wider economy as well.”
He added that “TUI flights will resume as early as next weekend with the airline bringing in some six flights a week, providing 1,800 to 2,000 seats. We’re looking at some 10,000 room nights at hotels with tremendous spin-off for accommodation and other subsectors, particularly attraction and transportation, which means employment for more workers and the economic benefits for their families.”
Minister Bartlett said: “With TUI now back on schedule, Jamaica’s tourism recovery is well on track to regaining lost ground and puts us closer to returning to pre-COVID record numbers.”
In 2019 TUI carried 11.8 million airline passengers globally. It is the world’s leading tourism group. The broad portfolio gathered under the Group’s umbrella consists of strong tour operators, some 1,600 travel agencies and leading online portals, five airlines with around 150 aircraft, approximately 400 hotels, about 15 cruise liners and many incoming agencies in all major holiday destinations across the globe. It covers the entire tourism value chain under one roof.