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Jamaica and Saudi Arabia sign off on tourism collaboration

The memorandum of understanding lists establishing an air link between the two countries as a top priority

Saudi Arabia and Jamaica have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost tourism between the two countries.

Speaking during his visit to the LEAP technology event held in Riyadh this month, Jamaica’s minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, said: “Jamaica is a highly tourism-dependent region; we are part of the Caribbean, which is part of the most tourism-dependent region on earth.

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“Most of the countries in the region have a dependency on tourism of up to 95% in terms of GDP. In the case of Jamaica, our direct tourism impact is around 10% of GDP, but this rises to 35% if we include the indirect impacts. Around 170,000 people, from a working population of 1.2 million, are employed directly by tourism.”

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Saudi Arabia, which is growing its presence in the tourism sector, is looking for investment opportunities both domestically and internationally.

Bartlett, who met with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, confirmed that an air link between the two countries is the top priority for the memorandum.

The newly established route, likely to be operated by Saudi’s national carrier, Saudia, would allow visitors from the Middle East to visit the Caribbean destination without the need to pass through the United States.

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