Jamaica’s airline partners have committed 1.1 million seats for the upcoming winter tourist season, as the island seeks to regain its footing in the marketplace.
Of that number, some 450,000 are seats added from the United States, the country’s largest source market, Director of Tourism Donovan White told industry stakeholders during the reopening of RIU Montego Bay in Mahoe Bay, St James, on Saturday night.
Confident of the prospects and tourism’s resilience, coming out of a battering by COVID-19’s devastation of the industry, White admitted that although the number of seats were 40 per cent fewer than the last winter season, the country was significantly up from where it was in the fall – the period that just ended.
He said the seat count has doubled between January 2021 and April 2021, which fall in the traditional winter tourist season, which starts December 15 and ends April 30.
News of the commitment by the island’s carriers was met with enthusiasm by the industry, which is only just raising its head from ground zero.
Since June 15, when the country’s airports reopened, hotel occupancy levels have run between 20 to 60 per cent, with the majority of hoteliers getting the bulk of their business from the local market.