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JIS News

The Ministry of Tourism and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) will spearhead a promotional blitz in key North American and European tourist markets, in a bid to prevent a projected US$350 million loss in revenue, as a result of the recent activities in West Kingston.
The campaign, details of which were finalised over the past weekend during meetings and consultations with Ministry officials and sector stakeholders and interests, is projected to cost some US$10 million, and gets underway on June 4.
Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, in an exclusive interview with JIS News at his Knutsford Boulevard office yesterday (May 30), said the move is aimed at allaying the concerns of stakeholder partners and potential visitors, and assure them that the country is open for business and remains a safe travel destination. Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, in an exclusive interview with JIS News at his Knutsford Boulevard office yesterday (May 30), said the move is aimed at allaying the concerns of stakeholder partners and potential visitors, and assure them that the country is open for business and remains a safe travel destination.
Countries, which are being targeted, are the United States (US), Canada and the United Kingdom (UK), all of whom have issued cautionary advisories to their citizens, resident in, or are contemplating travelling to Jamaica.
Minister Bartlett informed that these markets, combined, account for some 95 per cent of tourists visiting Jamaica. The US, he pointed out, accounts for some 65 per cent; Canada, 13 per cent; and the UK, 12 per cent. “The message has to be strong and swift and appealing in those three markets,” he stated.
Noting that the campaign will be “bullish” in nature, Mr. Bartlett said the undertaking will entail visits to key locations in traditional as well as emerging markets over the next three to four weeks. This, he said, will be followed by a comprehensive and sustained advertising thrust.
“The advertising campaign is going to kick in at a slightly later period, simply because you need to do some initial work with the trade, the travel trade in particular, (and) the media, and to get them to come down to Jamaica .to get our travel partners to come to visit. In fact, we are expecting to have more than 6,000 tour operators and travel agents coming into Jamaica over the next six to eight months. Included also, will be a number of radio stations and television stations” he told JIS News.
The Minister noted further that a team will be “pounding the pavement,” heading into Brazil this weekend, and then to New York and Toronto next week. “After that, we will be in the UK for all sorts of events. So, we are looking at, perhaps, a two to three week period of covering much of the North American and UK markets. We have to drive them.hard because we were hurt the most in the United States and Canada,” he informed.
Minister Bartlett said that the team will be involved in organising and executing several road shows to connect with the travel partners.
“I will be out there, so will the Director of Tourism (John Lynch). All of that is in aid of showing that the destination is still strong, that there is activity here, that the country is safe and to enable them to understand better that what took place over the past few days was not a civil disturbance as it was a government response to criminality, so that we can have a society that is free from fear,” the Tourism Minister outlined.
He also advised that the Ministry will also be utilising the social media network outlets, such Facebook and Twitter, particularly targeting the young people.
“We will be using that platform to get the messages across that activities are heavily engaged in Jamaica, and you must come or you are missing out if you are not in Jamaica,” Mr. Bartlett said.