Sat | Dec 3, 2016

JTB taking back the streets in US market

Published:Monday | November 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Contributed Photo Donnie Dawson

The December 15 start of the 2014/2015 winter tourist season is only weeks away, and the US arm of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is fired up with a forceful marketing campaign, called 'Taking Back The Streets', that is designed to deliver an excellent season for Jamaica.

Taking Back The Streets aims to keep Jamaica ahead of the competition by going back to the basics and reconnecting with an all-important component of the travel trade - the travel agents. The JTB's sales representatives in all markets have been aggressively pounding the pavement and they are engaging the agents with a multi-pronged penetrative campaign to boost arrivals.

A series of 'sell Jamaica' seminars are being conducted for agents in the Northeast, Midwest, West, Southwest and Southeastern regions that will host over 2,700 travel agents from across the travel spectrum - some old friends of Jamaica and others new acquaintances, updating them on important tourism developments on the island. This training programme has been incentivised with the 'One Love Rewards', and the objective is to ensure that Jamaica is the first Caribbean destination that is recommended to clients. Agents who were the most productive and lucky enough to make the coveted Top 50 List from this programme will be hosted by Secrets Resorts for a special celebratory event on the island December 6 to 9. To further support the sales charge and escalate the demand for Jamaica, webinars are held twice monthly that bring together tour operators, travel agents and resorts to discuss and take advantage of new opportunities relating to Jamaica.

POSITIONED FAVOURABLY

"Jamaica is positioned very favourably in the US market right now", Donnie Dawson, JTB's deputy director of tourism - The Americas, told The Gleaner. "We have excellent non-stop air service on all major carriers from key gateways, including New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. Our new television campaign, 'Home of All Right' started running on October 20 and it will continue for five weeks in spot markets, and every single one of us is relentless in the passion to take back those streets and keep Jamaica top of mind", Dawson continued.

The island will be further buoyed for the winter by a number of fresh and exciting additions, renovations and rebranding within the inventory of resorts. Sea Garden, RIU Palace, The Oasis at Sunset Montego Bay, Azul Sensatori and Royalton White Sands are all solid, welcome additions. Sandals Carlyle will be rebranded as Grand Pineapple. Moon Palace Jamaica Grand and Courtyard Marriott are scheduled to open soon and the Hyatt Zilara (adults) and Hyatt Ziva (family) will begin to receive guests on November 23.

"The super deluxe Moon Palace Hotel coming to Jamaica is an amazing development for the island," Doris Johnson, travel specialist with Liberty Travel at Madison Avenue in New York City, gushed. "I am also very excited about selling the Hyatt Zilara and the Hyatt Ziva properties, too. These additions, and others, are exhilarating news out of Jamaica", she added.

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