JAMAICA’S MINISTRY of Tourism says it is expecting an increase in tourists from Russia to visit the island.
Ministry of Tourism senior advisor and strategist, Delano Seiveright, said that just under 3,000 Russian tourists visited the island between January and the end of June compared to roughly 630 for the same period in 2018.
He told JIS News: “Much of this is attributable to new, regular nonstop flights between Moscow, Russia and Montego Bay by PegasTouristik/Nordwind, which commenced service on October 26 last year.”
Seiveright was speaking following a September 10 meeting with Russian and other European tourism stakeholders at the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) trade show in Montego Bay.
He added that the increase in numbers followed a sustained effort to target the Eastern European market.
In September 2018, the Governments of Jamaica and Russia signed a reciprocal agreement to waive the visa requirement for travel to their respective countries, spending up to 90 days per year for tourism, cultural exchange or business purposes.
Seiveright said: “There was a time when our marketing was restricted to just the United Kingdom (UK) and a few other countries in Western Europe. The Eastern bloc was basically ignored and appeared impossible and off limits.”
Jamaica’s tourism minister, Edmund Bartlett said: “This [is] exciting news, because it will expand our reach into Continental and Eastern Europe.”