Director of Tourism, John Lynch, is maintaining that Jamaica received value for money during the recent Jamaica House 2012 promotions in London.
Mr. Lynch presented a breakdown of the £969,652 budget, which he said was “money well spent”, at a press conference, held August 31, at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), in Kingston.
“The visibility of Jamaica, because of the performance of our athletes, was (of) such high profile that it would have been terrible if we were not there. And the way we did it with a joined up effort, was really beneficial,” the Tourism Director said.
Mr. Lynch reported that £494,000, or approximately half of the overall budget, was spent on design, build-out and event management, which included security for Jamaica House 2012. Rental of the venue cost £260,000; Marketing and advertising cost £50,000; Website design that facilitated bookings to get into the House, £21,615; Acquisition of Getty images to provide live feed to various media around the world £27,500; and Trade promotions and retail merchandising, £33,894.
There were also other costs relating to legal fees, registering of the Jamaica House name up to 2020, catering, design and messaging content for website, television licence fees, uniforms, volunteers and other miscellaneous items.
A report prepared by McCluskey International, the Public Relations (PR) agency responsible for the promotions, showed that Jamaica received £2,436,534 worth of coverage. Further, there were 157 pieces of coverage generated during the activities reaching an estimated audience of over one billion. Over 58,000 users a week were on the Visit Jamaica UK Facebook page, the report stated.
The report pointed out that no evaluation has taken place for North America, South America, Australia or Getty media outlets worldwide.
Agency Principal, Judy McCluskey, wrote that: “Jamaica House gave us a platform to control the messaging coming out of Jamaica that did not just focus on the Jamaican athletes and the Olympics. It allowed us to talk about Jamaica 50, its tourism and investment potential and the need to celebrate the country’s history, culture and way of life."
The Agency head reported that, “we welcomed over 2,000 visitors every day, and had over 600 accredited media filing stories about Jamaica House which resulted in 340 million viewers being reached through broadcast coverage alone."
Journalists attending the press conference saw a 13-minute documentary highlighting scenes from Jamaica House 2012 in London. The film showed long, winding lines of persons waiting to get into the House. The scene inside was reminiscent of Half-Way Tree and the National Stadium during the recent Jubilee celebrations. There were thousands of persons, young and old, clad in Jamaican colours and waving the national flag, singing, dancing and cheering as the Jamaican athletes excelled. There were snapshots of Jamaican foods, chicken being jerked and shelves stocked with Red Stripe Beer.
One travel agent featured in the documentary, explained the impact of Jamaica House 2012 – “You can’t describe what Jamaica is like. You walk in here and you get it."