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JA attracts most black Americans

Regional 06 Sep, 2022 Follow News

Black Americans love visiting Jamaica

Dophin Cove is one of JA’s most popular attractions

Jamaica’s tourism industry has recovered faster than every other English-speaking Caribbean country partly because African Americans visit there in huge numbers, said Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.

“The Afro-American market has taken off with a bang,” he said. “We have never seen the level of visitors that we are now seeing from that community and they spend at an enormously attractive level.” Those visitors are mainly from the north-eastern seaboard, which includes New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut areas.

According to Bartlett, the growth in this market is not by coincidence. “It has been coming for a while. Jamaica is seen as the most welcoming and congenial destination for Afro-Americans in the entire region,” he told The Gleaner during the 29th World Travel Awards at Sandals Montego Bay.

Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage, music, food, and sports are key factors of attraction. The size of the Jamaican diaspora in the United States is also a major plus. Barlett added: “Jamaica has the largest diaspora in the English-speaking Caribbean. The fact that we lead other Caribbean destinations that have larger populations than ours is a statement of how well our product is.”

Jamaica is also the most connected destination in the English-speaking Caribbean, with every major carrier flying into the island daily. Its tourism sector continues to see a strong recovery following the COVID-19 fallout.

He added: “We are at 91 percent now as at the end of August 2019 in terms of arrival, but the earnings are 20 percent above 2019. So we are going to end the 2022-2023 fiscal year at about US$4.2 million, which would have exceeded 2019 by US$500 million.”

Admitting he did not foresee the recovery happening at such speed, Bartlett revealed Jamaica has attracted a significant number of people who are seeking safer and more COVID-compliant protocols. Only the Dominican Republic and Mexico are pacing ahead of Jamaica in the region.

It’s no wonder that black Americans enjoy visiting Jamaica so much considering how many accolades it won last week at the World Travel Awards Caribbean & The America’s Gala, at Sandals, Montego Bay.

Jamaica was named the Caribbean’s Leading Destination 2022, for the 16th straight year. It was also the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination 2022, Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board 2022, for the 14th year in a row and Caribbean’s Leading Nature Destination 2022.

Several Jamaican places won awards too. Dolphin Cove was the Caribbean’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction; Sangster International Airport, named the Caribbean’s Leading Airport; Club Mobay at Sangster International Airport was the Caribbean’s Leading Airport Lounge; Falmouth won the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Port, and the Montego Bay Convention Centre got the Caribbean’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre 2022.

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