JIS News

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett is optimistic of growth in arrival for the winter tourism season, which gets underway on December 15.
He said that the Ministry has undertaken a promotional campaign, which should bear fruit during the upcoming winter tourist season, with at least a three per cent increase in arrivals expected by the end of the calendar year.
“So, what we are saying is that we have put into place what will give us a very strong and effective winter season, providing of course, there are no exogenous shocks, which we have no control over,” he stated.
The Tourism Minister was speaking to JIS News at the farewell reception for participants in the Jamaica Tourist Board’s (JTB) ‘Wish You Were Here’ travel agents education campaign on Saturday (October 2) at the Sandals Royal Hotel in Montego Bay.
The campaign got underway on September 10 with more than 2,000 travel agents brought into the island over four weekends for familiarization tours, and to experience firsthand, the island’s various tourist offerings and products.
Minister Bartlett told JIS News that the exercise formed part of efforts to rebrand Jamaica, following the disturbances in West Kingston earlier this year.
“What we have done is to bring over 2,000 travel agents into destination Jamaica, so that they could see firsthand, what we had said to them, in the earlier part of the rebranding exercise, when the team went into North America and Europe,” he said.
“What we are saying is that the same wonderful destination that you have always known, the Jamaica with the strong values is still here, and even in a better frame, because now we have dealt with a very important part of what has been dogging us over the years, which is the perception of us as an unsafe destination,” he noted further.
Citing recent crime statistics released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), which show a reduction in major crimes across the island, Minister Bartlett said that “this presents a very important statement of confidence that Jamaica has to show the world, that it is getting on top of the crime situation”.
He told JIS News that the promotional blitz will intensify, with full scale media advertising of destination Jamaica to start on (Oct. 4). A number of overseas radio stations will be invited to do remote broadcasts from the island to their respective destinations.
The Minister said that while Jamaica has not fully recovered from the West Kingston unrest, “we have recovered from the negative position that we were in during the months of May and June, to record the strongest performance in any July in the history of Jamaica, and August and September have just concluded with a small growth.”
He said that the projections for the month of October “looks good” and the positive outlook should continue into the winter season.

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