Jamaica, particularly the resort town of Negril, has captivated the hearts of Russian tourists, and is fast becoming their destination of choice.
This was evidenced by some 30 Russian travel agents, who were recently hosted at the newly refurbished RIU Negril resort in Hanover, during a Pegas Fly familiarisation trip last week.
The agents also visited the resort chain's properties in Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.
Speaking with Outlook, Russian travel agent Elaterina Lyubivaya of Pegas Fly said the travel professionals on the trip were wowed by the people of Jamaica and the natural beauty of the island, which she says, in her eyes, is unsurpassed.
"The people are so friendly. There is fantastic nature. I have never seen nature like this, believe me. The Caribbean Sea; everything is fantastic," she said during a cocktail reception at the resort.
Lyubivaya says Russians will want to come to Jamaica, owing to the fact that it was a new destination.
"A lot of Russians haven't seen Jamaica and they want to see it, believe me. A lot of [Russian] people will come to Jamaica. I will tell them they must see it. It is a fantastic country; a fantastic island," she emphasised.
General Manager of RIU Negril Cristina Fernandez concurred that Jamaica was one of the destinations Russians will find interest in because of the island's "good weather" and rich culture, for which people from that country have a high appreciation. She also said that attractions and tour operators stand to benefit greatly from their continued presence on the island.
"They like to taste the fruits, the local dishes, to get involved with the culture. So they look not only for the beach, but they also want to learn about Jamaica. They are interested in discovering the country," she said.
Fernandez said RIU Negril will host most of the Russian tourists on any given flight to Jamaica by Pegas Fly. As a consequence, she said the hotel's staff members are working to ascertain their tastes in order to meet their expectations.
Pegas Fly started with a charter flight and have committed to sending clients from now until May 2019 to Jamaica.