Jamaica is hopeful Tui will plug the gap left by Thomas Cook by bolstering services to Montego Bay with a three-times-weekly flight from Manchester beginning May 2020.
Donovan White, director of tourism at the Jamaica Tourist Board, told TTG at WTM London talks have been ongoing with several airlines to replace the axed Thomas Cook services since the operator’s collapse on 23 September.
“Tui has confirmed it will add additional capacity, which begins with a three-times-weekly service from Manchester next May.
“We are saddened by the loss of Thomas Cook. They have been a staunch supporter of Jamaica, and their service from Manchester played a large role in our summer growth,” said White.
“However, the collapse presents an opportunity for others [operators] to grow.”
TTG has approached Tui for comment.
Elsewhere, White said Jamaica had a “blockbuster” summer. The UK, which is the country’s third-largest source market after the US and Canada, totalled 23,000 arrivals for the month of July and 19,500 in September.
“Overall, we’ve had a very good year regarding global arrivals. We’re up 8.5% from January to October, reaching more than 2 million visitors. The US market alone has grown by 9%, delivering 168,000 more arrivals in these months compared with the same period last year.”
US growth has been aided by increased airlift from New York said White, with Delta, JetBlue and Caribbean Airlines offering daily services, while a new daily American Airlines flight will launch on 21 November. Delta will also add a daily flight from Detroit to Montego Bay from 1 December.
Jamaica has also seen a growth in hotel stock, with plans to add between 4,000 and 6,000 rooms over the next three years.
Properties slated for a 2020 opening include H10 Hotels & Resorts’ Ocean Coral Spring in Trelawney. The complex will feature two five-star all-inclusive properties – the first of which, a 500-room hotel, is due to open on 15 December, while a 440-room adults-only Ocean Eden Bay will follow in May 2020.
Other notable launches include Princess Hotels & Resorts at Green Island in Hanover for summer 2020 and a 1,700-room Hard Rock Hotel debuting in Rose Hall, St James, which is expected to break ground early next year.
Meanwhile, Hilton has announced the signing of a 168-room ROK Hotel in Kingston for next year, further bolstering the city’s hotel stock following the opening of an AC Marriott property in June.
“Kingston is where Jamaica comes alive,” said White. “We are now focused on promoting its heritage, music and culture. We want to present the city in a way that’s appealing for travellers keen to explore. These new hotels now offer them an attractive place to stay.”