JIS News

The Jamaica Cluster Competitiveness Project (JCCP) will expend approximately $36 million to drive cost-effective and innovative marketing efforts over the next three years in the United States and United Kingdom for the ‘My Jamaica’ consortium.
This comes in the wake of a grant from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) through its Business Linkages Challenge Fund.
The tourism cluster of the JCCP gathered a consortium of small and medium-sized travel/tourism companies to establish ‘My Jamaica’ over ten months ago, to deliver a very special travel product targeted to the nature/culture/adventure traveller.
With more than 80 members islandwide, ranging from hotels and restaurants to attractions, tour operators and guides, ‘My Jamaica’ embraces the natural and cultural diversity that defines Jamaica.
Industry and Tourism Minister, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba speaking at the signing of the funding agreement, recently at her offices in Kingston, said that the ‘My Jamaica’ marketing campaign was a shining example of what could be achieved through tourism’s strategic partnerships with other sectors – especially Jamaica’s cultural industries.
The Minister outlined new tour packages created by the Tourism Cluster which include:
Studio tours to see where and how Jamaica’s internationally famous music (Reggae) is made;The relationship between Jamaican music and religion;The story of Bob Marley;The drumming and dancing traditions of Jamaica and;Thirty-five new travel packages along the themes of ‘Jamaica Naturally’, ‘Taste of Jamaica’ and ‘Roots Jamaica’.
“The tourism cluster of the JCCP has been building on the extraordinary strength of ‘Brand Jamaica’ and the appeal of our culture to satisfy the demands of the modern traveller, who is seeking not only the ever-popular sun, sand and sea, but also an authentic experience of the destination that is entertaining, edifying and emotive,” she noted.
Mrs. Ndombet-Assamba added that as the local tourism product evolved into a more culturally enriching and nature-friendly experience, the marketing strategy had been revised to reflect this repositioning.
Continuing, she pointed out that, initiatives such as the Jamaica Tourist Board’s ‘Undiscovered Jamaica’ advertising campaign and ‘Genius of Jamaica’ public relations campaign, promoted and celebrated “our people, heritage and natural environment”.
The DFID’s Business Linkages Challenge Fund is a cost-sharing grant scheme geared towards developing commercially sustainable business linkages that bring benefits to the poor, operating in partnership with the private sector towards the goal of poverty eradication.
As such, ‘My Jamaica’s’ objective is to positively change the economic returns for the small and medium-sized players of the tourism industry in Jamaica by re-positioning Jamaica beyond just a beach to the discerning traveller who will venture into local communities and spread the visitor expenditure in rural areas.
According to the Minister, this was a practical example of public and private sector collaboration that gave meaning and depth to the call for a “Partnership for Progress”. It also proves the effectiveness of building a strategic alliance of tourism with agriculture and entertainment, she said.
Over the next three years, member companies comprising over 80 members islandwide, will invest in upgrading their products and training staff in an effort to meet international market standards.
This collaborative effort will leverage strong partnerships with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, the Jamaica Tourist Board, the Tourism Product Development Company and the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, marking a milestone for small and medium-sized enterprise players in the tourism industry.

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