JIS News

Jamaica’s tourism officials are in high spirits following yet another strong showing at the Word Travel Market (WTM) held this week at the Excel Centre in London.
Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Dennis Morrison told JIS News that this year’s show, which was held two months following Hurricane Ivan and a month before the official start of the winter tourist season, was “very successful” for the island.
“Business was strong and there was a great buzz around the Jamaican stand. People were very active in conducting business so we came away very, very encouraged and in a positive frame of mind leading up to the winter season”, he stated.
Turning to the upcoming winter tourist season, Mr. Morrison told JIS News that indications were that the period would be successful with advanced bookings already at a high. “The advanced bookings have been very encouraging. In terms of what the season looks like at this stage, the bookings are double-digit percentage points above where they were at a similar point last year,” he boasted.
He informed that about 98 per cent of all resort properties were back in business and it was expected that between the American Thanksgiving holiday later this month and the official start of the winter season on December 15, every property should be ready to welcome guests.
In terms of the United Kingdom market, Mr. Morris informed that a print campaign was already running and this would be bolstered with a television campaign starting in January. ” We expect that for January, February and March next year, we will be running a television campaign as well to promote our destination and the new products coming on stream in Jamaica,” he added.
These new products, Mr. Morris said, included the new Sandals Whitehouse, which is set to open next February, as well as the new hotel in the Spanish chain, the Rui Three, at Mamee Bay in St. Ann.
He also informed that Jamaica’s marketing and promotion programme for the Cricket World Cup in 2007, would be accelerated during the course of 2005. “We will get very busy starting very early in the year and I give warning that (at the) next travel market, we will be at full pitch in terms of promotion for that event,” he promised.
Jamaica’s delegation to the World Travel Market was led by Tourism Minister, Aloun Ndombet Assamba, and included Director General Carole Guntley and Director of Tourism Paul Pennicooke.

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