Airlift boost puts Jamaica on track for record year

Airlift boost puts Jamaica on track for record year

Jamaica expects to beat record arrivals from the UK and Ireland this year with the help of increased air lift and a focus on gastronomy.

Visitors from the UK and Ireland to the Caribbean island grew by more than 4% in 2016 to 210,000, not including cruise passengers, latest Jamaica Tourist Board figures show.

British Airways is adding a fourth weekly flight from Gatwick to the capital of Kingston in April while Thomson Airways will add about 7,000 extra seats to Montego Bay this summer on Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights from Glasgow and Stansted.

Tourism minister Edmund Bartlett has been laying the foundation for the growth and diversification of Jamaica’s tourism industry through five new strands of gastronomy, sports and entertainment, health and wellness, shopping and knowledge.

His push towards food tourism was one of the driving forces behind the increase in visitors to Jamaica in 2016, according to the tourist office.

This came as holidaymakers looked towards more authentic culinary experiences and offerings on the island beyond the nation’s most well known dish of jerk chicken.

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