Jamaican resort marketing group Island Outpost has joined with Magellan Jets to bring visitors to the GoldenEye and Strawberry Hill hospitality properties for what the Jamaican company describes as the "ultimate Bond adventure experience".
Gregory Shervington, the sales and marketing manager for Island Outpost and acting general manager of Strawberry Hill, said Tuesday that the promotion is intended to counteract perceptions of safety which are affecting the local tourism product.
The project also intends to capitalise on the mystique of jet travelling James Bond, whose creator Ian Fleming once resided on the 52-acre GoldenEye estate in St Mary and created fictional adventures that married romance with high-tech adventure.
Island Outpost members tend to target a high-end, celebrity market.
"A lot of people would want to come, but the safety factor is a concern," said Shervington. "We have to sell above and beyond."
The Island Outpost package includes private-jet charter through Magellan Jets to Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, gourmet Jamaican-style catering on-board, bond-themed gift baskets on-board, and ground transportation.
The vacation experience also includes two nights' stay at Strawberry Hill, helicopter transfer to GoldenEye where the guest will have three nights' accom-modations; dinner for two at Gazebo at GoldenEye, cocktails for two at Firefly, writer Noel Coward's historic hilltop home at GoldenEye and massages at Strawberry Hill. It ends with private-jet charter though Magellan Jets to Ian Fleming International Airport to the destination of choice.
Shervington said Tuesday that interest is expected to build towards the winter season, which starts annually on December 15.
"I can't give you specifics of take-up, but interest is there. These things take a lot of time. We are not worried about it. Arrivals should rise into holiday season," he said.
But he also said: "A lot of foreigners do come in on their own jets."
The Magellan package did not state costs, but indicated that travellers would receive a US$200 to US$300 credit for their hotel stays. It also said that the package was available for as many as 10 guests who wished to jet in for the James Bond experience.
The rates for GoldenEye start at US$550. Those for Strawberry Hill start at US$235.
Listed rates on GoldenEye's website range from US$840 nightly at the Lagoon cottage to US$7,500 for the five-bedroom Ian Fleming Villa.
The three nights in a one bedroom suite at Strawberry Hill and four nights in a Lagoon Cottage at GoldenEye was priced at a total US$4,256 from January 8 to April 1, 2013, while from May 1 to October 31, the rate cited was US$2,906 for the same number of room nights.
Magellan jet rates on its websites range from US$3,960 per hour for its Beechjet 400A for a party of six, to US$14,500 per hour for its Gulfstream G450 which can fly up to 12 passengers - as cited at Magellanjets.com.
Shervington said that GoldenEye, which was relaunched in 2010, is Island Outpost's flagship property.
"This year has been phen-omenal," he said. "This year over last year, we are seeing double-digit growth, which was also the same for 2012."
Located in Blue Mountain coffee country, Strawberry Hill Hotel & Spa reopened in October 2011 following an extensive refur-bishment of the property. It offers 12 Georgian-style cottages.