UK visitor numbers to Jamaica heading back to pre-Covid levels

The Jamaica Tourist Board said it has seen a “rapid recovery” in UK visitor numbers and expects British arrivals to return almost to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.

There were more than 15,000 arrivals from the UK in January, following 18,000 arrivals in December and 16,000 in November.

Last year, just over 74,000 British visitors were recorded, compared to 225,000 in 2019.

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The most recent visitor numbers indicate the country is on track to return close to pre-pandemic levels this year, said the tourist board.

Tourism minister Edmund Bartlett said: “The recent increase in arrivals from UK visitors augurs well for 2022. We are encouraged to see the results of the hard work of everyone in Jamaica to successfully rebuild tourism.

“Our airline partners responded to our careful and thorough resilience planning by committing to return and to increase airlift to Jamaica.”

He highlighted services from Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Tui, adding: “We are now poised and ready to welcome all our British visitors to return – particularly in 2022 the year of our 60th anniversary of independence.”

Jamaica reopened its borders in June 2020 and was among the first to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safe Travels recognition.

It relaxed restrictions on March 1, so that those arriving in Jamaica no longer need to complete a travel authorisation form before travelling.

Travellers aged 12 and above need to provide a negative Covid-19 antigen or PCR test result conducted within 72 hours before they travel.

Elizabeth Fox, UK and Northern Europe regional director at the tourist board, said: “We’re already achieving a great increase in honeymoon enquiries.

“Jamaica has definitely been top-of-mind for British travellers recently – from absorbing beautiful shots of Port Antonio filmed in the James Bond No Time to Die film through to cheering on our bobsled sportsmen and women during the winter Olympics.

“This year we’ll be focusing on our year of independence as a year of culture, celebrating the incredible music, food, culture and the creative passion of our people.

“Iconic events such as Reggae Sumfest are returning this summer and there will be many more events and experiences throughout the year.”

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