Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, becomes his county’s first cabinet minister to address the prestigious Chinese Outbound Travel and Tourism Market (COTTM) here today.  Minister Bartlett is in Beijing with a delegation of Jamaican tourism representatives to promote travel to Jamaica from China.  COTTM welcomed 250 organisations from 60 countries, 400 hosted buyers and 2,000 travel trade professionals.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the COTTM, Minister Bartlett drew upon the long history shared between Jamaica and China.  He underscored the fact that Chinese visitors first came to Jamaica in 1854 and established a significant community on the island, one that has contributed important elements to the fabric that makes up the Jamaican cultural landscape.

In his remarks, Minister Bartlett went on to explain that Jamaican-Chinese relations, “have grown steadily since 1972 ushering in a period of sustained contact and friendship, underpinned by our firm commitment to the “One China” Policy.  Jamaica is fully committed to the growth and development of the Chinese Market.”  Relations took a big step forward in 2005 when Jamaica was granted Approved Destination Status and the island has been active in engaging outbound travel trade from China.

In 2007, Chinese arrivals to Jamaica grew 10.3% over 2006, and it is expected that this trend will continue. This expectation is consistent with the World Tourism Organisation’s projection of Chinese outbound tourism exceeding 100 million by 2015.

Jamaica recognizes the efforts of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and COTTM and congratulated China on remaining Asia's largest source of outbound tourism with 40.9 million people travelling abroad in 2007.

With its geographic position, Jamaica is posed to become the strategic hub to the Caribbean and the Americas from Asia and the Middle East.  Jamaica is dedicated to being the centre of the projected expansion in the region and will start by providing a base for Airbus A-380s and 787 mega-lines in its part of the world.

Jamaica Receives Gold Chinese Tourist Welcoming  Award for Marketing

As a result of its efforts to increase tourism, the Jamaica Tourist Board has been recognized for Marketing at the fifth annual CTW Awards. The Jamaica Tourist Board received a Gold Chinese Tourist Welcoming (CTW) Award for Marketing. The award was presented at a special CTW Awards ceremony during the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market (COTTM) and was bestowed by the German-based COTRI (China Outbound Tourism Research Institute).  The award has been recognised inside and outside of China as the most important quality sign for the international Chinese Outbound market, with wide coverage in the media. After submitting information about their product, as suited to the Chinese market, Jamaica was honoured with this award which recognises the efforts of international organisations who have adapted their product to cater to the Chinese traveller.

“We are honoured to receive this award, especially because it recognizes Jamaica’s continued focus on providing a tourism product that appeals to visitors from all over the world, including the important Chinese market,” said Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism the Hon. Edmund Bartlett.  “China is a market of great importance to Jamaica, and we will continue to work to strengthen the ties between our two countries.”