Build on Brand Jamaica – Tourism Minister


Although there is good reason to be upbeat about Jamaica’s tourism performance, the country cannot afford to become complacent and should, at this point in the industry’s development, build on the extraordinary strength of “brand Jamaica” and the appeal of the island’s culture in satisfying the demands of the modern traveller.
Minister of Industry and Tourism, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba made this observation while making her contribution to the 2004/05 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (April 21). “Careful assessment of opportunities for competitive advantage and aggressive positioning for growth, are therefore more important than ever as established and new destinations vie for business among increasingly savvy consumers seeking better value for money,” Mrs. Assamba said.
She noted that the current world economic and political landscape had provided some opportunities for tourism in the region. The strengthening of the Euro, relative to the United States dollar for example, she said, had made holidaying outside Europe more price competitive. This, Mrs. Assamba pointed out, had helped to counter hesitation about travelling far from home among many Europeans who had been worried about possible recession in their economies and terrorist attacks in some of their favourite holiday destinations in the Mediterranean and the Middle East regions.
“More and more of our visitors are seeking not only the ever popular sun, sea and sand but also an authentic experience of the destination that is entertaining, edifying and emotive,” the Tourism Minister stated.
Mrs. Assamba told her colleagues that following a bidding and selection process, Ruder Finn and Financial Dynamics had been appointed in October 2003 to undertake the public relations functions of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in North and South America and European markets such as the United Kingdom. “As our tourism product evolves into a more culturally enriching and nature-friendly experience, our marketing strategy has been revised to reflect this repositioning,” she said, pointing out that advertising campaigns such as “Undiscovered Jamaica” and “Genius of Jamaica” promoted and celebrated the people of Jamaica, the nation’s heritage and natural environment.
During 2003, the JTB undertook an aggressive and multi-faceted approach to marketing the destination among consumers and travel trade in key international markets. Some of the innovations introduced in the marketing programme include: a campaign promoting Jamaica’s villa accommodations in partnership with the Jamaica Association of Villas and Apartments; specific television promotion of Undiscovered Jamaica, highlighting the island’s less exposed attractions and smaller lodging alternatives; and for the first time, advertising in movie theatres in the United States.

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