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Jamaica Inn sees business boost after Expedia collaboration

Published:Thursday | September 28, 2017 | 12:00 AMNeville Graham
The grounds of Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, St Ann.

Jamaica Inn, a luxury boutique hotel based in Ocho Rios, has been in business for decades, but the past few years have been challenging.

Business was sluggish, even though the hotel has been part of the Expedia network since 2002.

Still, its operators decided that the Internet travel company could be the answer to their turnaround and reached out to them for help.

Now, even Expedia appears surprised at the results of the collaboration, which has paid off for Jamaica Inn.

The hotel has seen an increase in bookings and revenue between February and May 2017, including a 300 per cent year-over-year increase in package business, according to a review coming out of Expedia.

"In fact, growth was so dramatic that by mid-2017, revenue had already eclipsed all of 2016," the report said.

For Jamaica Inn, which is owned by the Morrow family, Expedia recommended the creation of a package strategy focused on the travel platform's value-added promotions and member-only deals, which included discounts for travellers and credits to spend on meals and drinks.

"Food and beverage can be pricey in the Caribbean, making discounts for these items more effective than other potential giveaways, such as free Wi-Fi or spa credits," Expedia said in the report.

Jamaica Inn's sales and marketing manager, Emmanuella Owens says the results of the Expedia collaboration were immediate.

"We have direct access to marketing managers who have provided the very best in expertise and assistance with the development of our targeted package strategy. We have seen tremendous growth as a result of the strategy and it is a testament to the strength of our partnership and the diligent work of on-call managers who are equally invested in our bottom-line objectives," Owens said.

Expedia, meantime, is looking for more ways to do additional business in Jamaica. The travel company is now pitching its revenue management tool, called Rev+, which it promoted at the annual Jamaica Product Exchange tourism trade show in Montego Bay on the penultimate weekend of September.