Jamaicans are being invited to take advantage of special discount packages being offered by some of the island’s premier hotels, attractions and other tourism stakeholders.
Sector partners are offering up to 50 per cent discounts on accommodation, attractions, shopping, ground transportation and at restaurants as part of the ‘Experience Jamaica’ campaign, which was launched on May 8, Wyndham Kingston hotel.
Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeil, said he is confident that the initiative will generate a high level of interest from the public.
He lamented that not enough locals are experiencing the various product offerings that have made the island one of the top destinations in the world, such as intriguing heritage sites, luxurious hotels, and breathtaking attractions.
“We spend a lot of money each year advertising Jamaica overseas and visitors come to our island to see and experience what is Jamaica, yet amongst our own people, while some may go to one or two attractions, like Dunn’s River Falls, not enough of them go to our hotels, our villas, or go to the myriad of other attractions we have here in Jamaica,” he said.
Dr. McNeil thanked the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) for “this welcome initiative” and lauded the sector partners – the hoteliers, villas, guest houses, and attractions, for recognising the importance of domestic tourism and putting packages together to ensure that “Jamaicans can benefit and enjoy Jamaica at a Jamaican price”.
“I want to encourage everyone to start filling their weekends and vacations days with plans to explore and experience Jamaica,” he urged.
Experience Jamaica was introduced in 2009 by the JTB to inspire Jamaicans to vacation at home. The programme uses customer education and value-added discount offerings to generate interest in and use of the tourism facilities available on the island. The offerings also extend to the diplomatic community and other international residents.
JTB Chairman and Director of Tourism, John Lynch, said the intention is to “stir up enthusiasm at home for the things that make Jamaica a very special place on earth – the culture, the hospitality, and of course, the natural beauty.”
He pointed out that the “deep discounts” being offered by the tourism partners is an indication of “just how eager the hospitality sector is to show Jamaicans a good time”
Deputy Director of Tourism and Marketing, JTB, Sandra Scott, informed that the Board has designed a programme to make it easy for persons to start their “Jamaican adventure”, noting that over the summer months and into the fall, the offerings will be showcased through a media campaign and several road shows across the island.
For the first time, the launch featured a trade show component, which saw tourism partners setting up booths where they presented their offerings. There were also several giveaways, such as free passes to attractions and hotels, and a concert.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter