Jamaica Travel is Booming! More Canadian Air Lift

Jamaica Tourist Board and Vanessa Martinez from Unforgettable Escapes.

Jamaica is experiencing a remarkable surge in tourism, evident by the impressive visitation numbers reaching 3.88 million as the year 2023 draws to a close. Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett recently returned from Europe after promoting Jamaica in Eastern Europe and earlier at the World Travel Market.

The Numbers Speak for Themselves

Philip Rose, Deputy Director of Tourism for the Americas at Jamaica Tourism Board. Credit: JTB

Philip Rose, Deputy Director of Tourism for the Americas at Jamaica Tourism Board (JTB), extended a warm welcome to travel agents and guests at the award gala (06DEC).

"Your importance is immeasurable; as our cherished travel partners, your trust and dedication have played a pivotal role in Jamaica's remarkable earnings, surpassing $37 million U.S. dollars this year," he said.

Angella Bennett, Regional Director for Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board. Credit: JTB.

JTB's regional director for Canada, Angella Bennett, shared, "Jamaica is up 5.2% over the 2019 reductions in stopover and overall visitor arrivals.

"Canada in particular, because they've had the toughest conditions in the pandemic, have come back so strong that the projections from Canada to end of the year will be 40% above 2022." She added.

Bennett emphasized she is exceptionally proud to stand with her agents on stage because working in collaboration made this happen.

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett. Credit: JTB

So, What's Expected for Canada in 2024?

According to Bennett, "In the coming year, we will work diligently to reach our objectives and ambitious goal our Minister of Tourism set: delivering half a million visitors to Jamaica. To meet this target, our focus has been on enhancing airlift options. We're excited to welcome esteemed partners, such as Canada Jet Lines, which will inaugurate its first flight into Montego Bay on December 9, and Flair Airlines, which will mark their inaugural flight into Kingston on December 16."

He added, "By strategically expanding our airlift network, we aim to attract more travellers to Jamaica and fulfil our ambitious tourism objectives."

"One Love Affair" Agent Awards

As Open Jaw reported, Minister Bartlett attended the "One Love Affair" celebration "All White" dress at Sandals Montego Bay on 05DEC. The dinner honoured 50 of the top-performing agents, of which 15 hailed from Canada. Minister Bartlett's presence emphasized the importance of agent efforts in boosting Jamaica's thriving tourism industry.



Dan Hamilton, the District Sales Manager for Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board. Credit: JTBDan Hamilton, District Sales Manager for Canada, mentioned that certified agents registered under the Travel Specialist Program enter their travel bookings into the system. Points are assigned to the bookings and, in turn, are examined to determine the final numbers for the "One Love Affair" rewards qualification.

Ottawa-based Vanessa Martinez from Unforgettable Escapes was the top-performing agent from Canada. Martinez ranked #8 in the top 50. Martinez, who signed up with the Travel Specialist Program in 2016, said her focus has been on destination weddings, romance travel and family groups.

During a discussion with Openjaw, Martinez highlighted what makes Jamaica a top destination for Canadian travellers: "Canadians crave authentic travel experiences, and Jamaica goes beyond the ordinary seaside escape—it's a sensory playground for thrilling adventures and cultural immersion. Eco-travelers explore natural wonders, from the mystical Green Grotto Caves to bamboo rafting. History seekers delve into the past through grand Great Houses, and culinary explorers savour Jamaica's vibrant food scene with fiery jerk spices, tropical fruits, and fresh seafood," she said.

Martinez emphasized that through her partnership with JTB, she's discovered an unparalleled pillar of support within the advisor community. The tourism board has created an environment where agents feel part of their family. Through the twists of the COVID-19 pandemic, JTB consistently stood by and offered encouragement and solidarity. Beyond celebrating triumphs, it remained steadfast during the most challenging times.

Angella Bennett, Regional Director for Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board and Vanessa Martinez from Unforgettable Escapes.


Canadian agents and JTB at the Gala



A recap of Canadian Winners in (no particular order):

All Agent Top Performers. Credit: JTB
  • Johanne Robinson - CWT Harvey's Travel
  • Shelley Elkas – Escapes.ca
  • Amanda Beaver - Glow Travel
  • Sharon Boissonneault - House of Travel
  • Micaela McFarquhar – Intimate Affairs & Escapes
  • Tanya Smith – Niche Travel Group
  • Robyn Arnold – Sell Off Vacations
  • Lois Barbour - Travel Time Agency
  • Sharon Lynn Loppie – TravelBug Travel (formerly Time2Travel)
  • Vanessa Martinez - Unforgettable Escapes
  • Kim Leduc – Voyages & Croisieres Aquamonde
  • Andrea Lindsay – Your Travel Genie
  • Yvonne Campbell - Yvonne's Travel and Tour

For more information about the Travel Specialist Program, visit www.oneloverewards.com

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