JIS News

Approximately 500 Travel Agents and Tour Operators got a first-hand experience of the offerings of Jamaica, over the weekend, through the ‘Wish You Were Here’ familiarisation trips, organised by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and private sector partners in the sector.
They are the first batch of 2,000 Travel Agents, who will be brought into the island over the next six to eight week-ends, under this programme.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, who was on hand at the Sandals Royal Caribbean, Sandals Cay, on September 11, to welcome the travel agents, told JIS News that the programme forms part of the promotion and marketing activities to rebrand Jamaica.
“We established the campaign, not only in the United States, Canada, Europe and the other markets, but we also wanted to bring the partners to the destination, so that they could be on property, on the beach, in the hotels and moving around in the attractions and generally interfacing with the Jamaican people for a period. This will help them to understand that truly, the destination is as wonderful as it always was, and perhaps even better,” he said.
He explained that the whole purpose of the programme is to ramp up the marketing efforts for the upcoming winter tourist season, adding that expectations, in terms of visitor arrivals to the island for that period, will be no less than last year. Approximately 750,000 visitors came to the island during last year’s winter tourist season.
“The real test for us is the airlifts that we have, the number of seats that we have available for the winter, and also the level of forward bookings that we are getting through the traditional sources and of course through the social media, and through the powerful internet engines that are now working so well throughout the reservation systems,” Mr. Bartlett said.
He said that despite all the problems experienced so far during the year, projections are that there might still be a three to four per cent growth in tourist arrivals to the island for this calendar year, when compared to last year.

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