Jamaica has reported a 5% increase in UK visitors from January to September.

The number of UK tourists arriving in Jamaica rose to just over 168,269 in the nine-month period compared to last year, according to the latest figures.

Speaking to Travel Weekly at WTM, Jamaica’s minister of tourism Edmund Bartlett said the effects felt by the Thomas Cook collapse were “negligible”.

He said the sector may have lost around 1,000 seats. in total.

“Jamaica would have been negatively impacted if we had not moved proactively to get suppliers who were able to fill the bridge,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett said the introduction of a new online immigration and customs form had cut waiting times down by half.

Commenting on the state of emergency that has been imposed in some regions including Montego Bay, Bartlett said: “Jamaica has in reality an elevated security arrangement.

“It’s a misnomer to say ‘state of emergency’, because there isn’t an emergency situation that we’re responding to.

“This is not a reaction to a situation that is out of control.”