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Travel to Jamaica is gearing back on track. Here are a few updates on travel to the island from the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) trade event.

According to the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association’s (JHTA) survey, which was conducted Nov. 6-7, 2021, Jamaica hotels are currently averaging 65 percent occupancy rates for the winter season. Jamaica is well on its way to a strong recovery, according to Donovan White, director of tourism.

In addition, Amadeus reported that Jamaica is leading the world in demand searches for the destination at 38 percent of the 2019 levels, and at 24 percent when compared to the rest of the world.  Capacity of air seats is at 65 percent of the 2019 levels, and at 24 percent in comparison to the rest of the world. International air passengers are at 45 percent of the 2019 levels, and 31 percent compared to the rest of the world. And, GDS bookings are up to 61 percent in comparison to 2019.

According to data collected from Jamaica’s top five air and tour operator partners in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K, there is a strong room night booking happening, with November 2021 at 95 percent of November 2019 levels, and December 2021 is at 97 percent of 2019.

This is evident as Jamaica welcomed 23,000 visitors in the first four days of November alone. And, from January to October 2021, air stopover arrivals are estimated to be up 41 percent year-over-year, and 48 percent of 2019.

Visitors to Jamaica in 2021 are also staying longer and spending more, as earnings are outpacing arrivals for the first time. The average traveler is staying eight days, and the average spending per person per day has increased to $180 versus $169. Projections are now indicating that a return to 2019 pre-pandemic levels will be reached by the third quarter of 2023, at which point approximately 4.1 million visitors will be visiting the island and spending about $4.2 billion—half a billion over 2019 spending.

New Air & Return to Cruising

There has also been new air service added including Frontier Airlines, which has a new service from Miami, Atlanta, and Orlando to Montego Bay. American Airlines has also added a new service from Philadelphia to Kingston. And, American Airlines will also be using a 787 Dreamliner on flights to Montego Bay from gateways including MIA, JKF, PHL, ORD, BOS, DFW, and CLT.

Jamaica’s cruise ports also resumed welcoming ships on Aug. 16 with the arrival of Carnival Sunrise to the Port of Ocho Rios.

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