Jamaica Seeking More Tourists From Middle East As Emirates Discusses Regional Airline Linkups.

Photo: Pixabay. The city of Dubai, home of Emirates, could be a lucrative source of well-off tourists for the Caribbean if airline connections are improved. Currenly most passengers have to travel via the United States.
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Following fruitful discussions with senior executives of Emirates airline, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism,  Ed Bartlett says plans are already underway to link up the airline’s routes which currently fly into Miami and Bogota with regional airlines to make easier connections into the Caribbean.

Emirates, based in Dubai, is one of the world’s largest airlines that connects passengers to a global network of over 150 destinations.

It is thought that the  airline’s current flights to Miami and new flights slated for Bogota, Colombia could act as hubs to bring passengers to Jamaica and the Caribbean, although the biggest hub in the region is probably Panama.

At the present time most passengers will have to pass through airports in the United States, which can be extremely inconvenient for onward bound passengers due to lengthy waits for immigration clearance and customs.

There is also a medium-term vision of the Minister to secure firmer arrangements with the Caribbean and the airline in the form of a hub creation, although it is not clear at this point where the hub would be.

“This is a further step increasing the connectivity between Emirates and the Caribbean as the airline looks to deepening its presence in the region. In the medium term, through a hub and spoke arrangement, there can be a fruitful partnership that would see more visitors from the middle east visiting Jamaica and the Caribbean and vice versa,” said Minister of Tourism, Ed Bartlett.

Emirates could easily increase its footprint in the region through strong code-sharing partnerships with other airlines like Avianca, Copa and Caribbean airlines.

“The time is right for us to tap into the regional partnerships being created through Emirates and Jamaica is ready to be inserted within the future logistics of the airline to get more from the middle eastern market. This would be a game changer for the destination,” said the Minister.

Jamaica welcomed over twelve hundred visitors from the Middle East last year as the island’s tourism industry continued its post pandemic recovery and growth.

The Emirates partnership will play a critical role in making it possible for larger numbers of tourists from the Middle East to come to the island.

Discussions on this possible partnership were held during Arabian Travel Market, held May 6-9 in Dubai, the leading global event for the inbound and outbound travel industry in the Middle East.

Source: Jamaica Government Information Service.
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