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Another boost for Jamaica’s tourism

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In this file photo cruise visitors are entertained by a Jamaican musician in Falmouth, Trelawny.

JAMAICA copped two prestigious World Travel Awards in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), continuing the island’s excellent performance in the global travel industry.

Jamaica was awarded World’s Best Family Destination and World’s Best Cruise Destination before a large audience of government leaders and officials, global corporate titans, and travel stakeholders as the World Travel Awards marked its 30th year at Burj AL Arab, described as Dubai’s most iconic hotel and a global epitome of Arabian luxury.

The awards come as local tourism officials are basking in a Gallup report that ranked Jamaica among the safest countries in the world.

The Gallup report has Jamaica sharing company with New Zealand, Costa Rica and Cyprus, in a story published by Breaking Travel News — regarded as the leading online resource for travel industry executives around the world.

“The report gauges people’s sense of personal security and their own experiences with crime and law enforcement. Results are based on nationally representative, probability-based samples among adult populations, aged 15 and older, in 141 countries and territories throughout 2022,” Breaking Travel News said.

The report also said Jamaica scored 75 out of a maximum 100 points, which means the island ranks among the safest countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, coming slightly ahead of the US territory of Puerto Rico at 74; followed by Brazil, 73; Argentina, 70; Mexico, 66; Venezuela, 66; the Dominican Republic, 64; Peru, 61; and Ecuador, 59.

Topping the list was Tajikistan at 96, Finland and Iceland both at 92, while the United States of America, United Kingdom and Canada all scored 83 points.

On Thursday, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said the upcoming winter tourist season will be the best in Jamaica’s history.

According to Bartlett, 1.05 million airline seats have been secured from nearly 6,000 flights coming into the island out of the United States — Jamaica’s biggest source market — during the winter season which begins on December 15. The surge in airlift, he said, represents an increase of 13 per cent over winter 2022/2023, when Jamaica recorded 923,000 airline seats.

Meanwhile in Dubai on the weekend, Bartlett handed out Global Tourism Resilience Awards to two major Middle East corporations and three countries.

The inaugural awardees are Qatar; The Maldives; The Philippines; and UAE corporate powerhouses DP World, an Emirati multinational logistics company specialising in cargo logistics, port terminal operations, maritime services and free trade zone; and Dnata, a leading global air and travel services provider offering ground handling, cargo, travel, catering and retail services in more than 30 countries across six continents.

The Global Tourism Resilience Awards fall under the stewardship of Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) — an international think tank headquartered in Jamaica, with satellites in Africa, Canada, and the Middle East. Bartlett is founder and chair of the centre.

The awards are for entities and countries that have demonstrated global leadership, pioneering vision, and innovation to overcome critical challenges and adversity.

GTRCMC aims to help tourism stakeholders worldwide prepare for, manage, and recover from crisis. This is accomplished through providing services such as training, crisis communications, policy advice, project management, event planning, monitoring, evaluation, research and data analytics. The focus of GTRCMC includes climate resilience, security and cybersecurity resilience, digital transformation and resilience, entrepreneurial resilience, and pandemic resilience.

Bartlett, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Matthew Samuda; Tourism Senior Advisor and Strategist Delano Seiveright; executive director of GTRCMC Professor Lloyd Waller; and chairman of Jamaica’s Climate Change Advisory Board Professor Dale Webber were in Dubai for COP 28, the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2023, with global leaders, governments and other leading stakeholders.

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