Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer
OCHO RIOS, St Ann:
FIFTY LOCAL travel agents attended a trade show at Riu Ocho Rios last Saturday as the hotel prepared to launch its Jamaica 50 promotion to enhance its popularity in the local market.
The agents were drawn from Kingston, Mandeville, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. While the trade show was at Riu Ocho Rios, they were exposed to the other Riu properties.
"It's the first of its kind where we have them on one property, but we're exposing them to all four properties in a trade-show setting," explained Angella Bennett, sales director for Riu Hotels in Jamaica. "So they have a 45-minute session with each representative of each hotel, where they explain the selling points of this hotel, the best features of the hotel and teach them how they want to sell Riu product."
The hotel is investing heavily in its Jamaica 50 promotion because it is an important year for Jamaica, Bennett explained.
"And so we want to make sure that the agents know that Riu is standing behind this promotion and we are giving, for the first time, $50 for every booking that has a minimum of two-night stay off the booking, a significant 50. We have a couple of Jamaica 50 promotions for honeymooners that are celebrating 50th anniversary, birthday; we have some golden jubilee added value for them as well."
There is also a roll-out of wireless internet at Riu Ocho Rios, particularly for the deluxe wing.
The promotions will run from July to December 2012.
"The trade show has been great, although it's a big group it's very personalised. We learned a lot of information to sell the property so the experience has been good," said Connie Lue, branch manager for Chin Yee's Travel, New Lane.
According to Lue, Chin Yee's has been selling Riu rooms abundantly.