Tourism Industry News
Jamaica Courting U.S. Tourists despite Crisis
Jamaica is undertaking an aggressive marketing campaign to lure tourists to the island, with placement of advertisements at major media outlets in the United States including television network CNN. Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said that the campaign is being launched despite the global economic meltdown, there is “still some juice in the market for us to get”.
“We are going to be hitting the main cities with blitzes,” Mr. Bartlett explained, noting that various hotel groups in Jamaica will also be partnering with government. “We will be looking at trade magazines and newspapers.”
The Tourism Minister said the initiative will primarily target the US, Jamaica’s largest tourist market and specifically, the Jamaican Diaspora.
“The Diaspora is about nine per cent of our stopover arrivals; that’s huge. So it’s going to be heavy marketing, marketing, marketing,” he said, adding that new airlift arrangements and product enhancement activities and strategies are also being used in the industry.
Turning to projections for the country’s tourism performance, he said that the industry is expected to end the year with growth of between four to five per cent.
“At the end of September this year, there has been 5.5 per cent growth, which is significant in this region. We recognize that the year will end with growth; the challenges begin in the New Year. In so far as coming out of a tough year is concerned, I think that the industry can feel justifiably proud that it worked hard, it fought against great odds, and is coming out of a tough year with growth,” Mr. Bartlett said.
Meantime, efforts continue to promote sports tourism in Jamaica with the island hosting its first ever beach sprint in November next year.