JIS News

Some 80 travel agents from 10 United States gateways yesterday (Sept. 18) participated in a mini tourism trade show, which is part of a four-day series of activities aimed at aggressively marketing Jamaica’s tourism product to the overseas market.
The event, held at the Half Moon Conference Centre in Rose Hall, St. James, was organized by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) in association with Air Jamaica. Featured were a number of booths showcasing vacation packages from hotel properties across the country, while JTB marketing representatives met with the travel agents, to guide them towards selling Jamaica more effectively to their clients.
Regional Director of JTB’s Montego Bay Office, Clive Taffe said that the trade show is part of the agency’s marketing strategy to showcase “a taste of what Jamaica has to offer.”
He informed that over the next four days, the travel agents will visit hotels, resorts, restaurants and attractions and meet with players in the sector. “Today is an interaction day in our four-day trade show presentation. This is the sort of introduction planned and presented to them, so that they can go back to their respective market places in the United States to sell Jamaica more effectively to their clients,” Mr. Taffe told JIS News.
First Vice President of the JHTA, Evelyn Smith, welcomed the opportunity to showcase what Jamaica has to offer. She noted that much of Jamaica’s business is still dependent on North America and “we really want to have the opportunity to have the travel agents down here to mix and mingle with our hoteliers and our attraction owners and for our small sector, those who do not have overseas counterparts, it’s an important avenue for them to have that interaction to grow their business,” she pointed out.
“At this particular time when Jamaica’s arrival figures from the US are down, it is important that we get into the market aggressively and I hope that this is one of the first initiatives going out there to get more and more travel agents to come down and we couple that with aggressive advertising in the market place”, she added.
Over the four days, the travel agents will be involved in site inspections at various hotels and attractions in order to get a firsthand experience of Jamaica’s rich tourism diversity. They will also dine at various restaurants and go on soft adventure tours.