JIS News

Jamaica will be hosting the first ever Chinese familiarisation trip from February 9 to 15, planned for travel trade partners, media and representatives from the business network, to be exposed to the diversity of Jamaica’s offerings in accommodation and attractions.
The group, comprising 17 members, will be here on the invitation extended by Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, to the Chinese travel trade, during the Beijing Olympics.
In an interview with JIS News, Deputy Director of Tourism, David Shields, said that, “this is the first time ever in the history of our tourism, that there is an organised group of travel trade specialists coming to Jamaica from China, to look at the product, understand the product, and to meet with some of the partners here in Jamaica on a one-on-one basis, to look at business opportunities and prospects.”
“We have found that when our retail partners come to Jamaica and see the product, they are better able to sell it and their knowledge is improved about the product. Once they come to Jamaica, they know the product and they are able to package the offerings of the Jamaican experience,” Mr. Shields highlighted.
He explained that a major highlight of the trip would be an Emerging Markets Workshop, organised by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), to sensitise local tourism stakeholders about China’s outbound travellers. The workshop, which will be held at the Ritz Carlton Resort and Spa, in Montego Bay, St. James, on February 12, will include a trade exchange, where Jamaican tourism suppliers will have one-on-one business discussions with the Chinese tour operators.
He pointed out that the group would be meeting with destination management companies, hoteliers and the ground transportation providers, to identify the various nuances of the Jamaican product and see how they can grow their business to Jamaica.
Persons addressing the workshop will include the Chief Operating Officer of China Business Network, Dr. Adam Wu; representatives from the JTB-China agency; and Founder and Director of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute, Professor Wolfgang Arlt.
The accompanying Chinese media consist of a three-man team representing several outlets, including China Central Television (CCTV); National Geographic Traveller and the Travel Channel, China.
The Deputy Director noted that the media are expected to cover cultural, social and business opportunities of interest to the Chinese traveller.
Also coming with the group is the superstar, Cui Jian, who is considered by many as the Father of Chinese Rock music. He will be meeting with Jamaican performers and other persons from the music fraternity, to get a better understanding of Jamaican music, the vibe and culture.
Mr. Shields pointed out that the whole idea is to, “create new fusion and an exciting element of the Jamaican experience in China, and to see how best to integrate this into his own presentation of music to his Chinese audience.”
According to the Deputy Director, the overall objective of the visit is to take the group into the centres, the cultural capital, Kingston, and the other resort areas, particularly the North Coast and Montego Bay, St. James.
“It is not just for them to see the attractions, but to see the coffee, cuisine, experience some of our food and our cultural behaviour after the Olympics, which made the profile of Jamaica very strong and rich in the Chinese market,” Mr. Shields said.
“We are building on what was achieved in August at the Olympics, and we are presenting a little bit more of the heart and soul of Jamaica. We will take them to our various attractions, to meet some of the Jamaican people and also introduce them to the food and drink of Jamaica,” he added.

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