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JTB product showcase a “phenomenal” success as 600 travel pros tune in

  • Buzz
  •   12-14-2022  7:45 am
  •   Pax Global Media
JTB product showcase a “phenomenal” success as 600 travel pros tune in
(Jamaica Tourist Board)
Pax Global Media

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) welcomed 600 travel advisors from across Canada and the United States for an afternoon of education, inspiration, and networking during its Virtual Product Showcase on Dec. 7.

Hosted on Zoom, the immersive experience opened with destination updates from the JTB’s Canadian sales team, a brief overview on the Jamaica Travel Specialist program, and a presentation on Jamaica’s all-new “Come Back” marketing campaign.  

Attracting a record-breaking number of participants, the session was the third Virtual Product Showcase hosted by the JTB Canada team and the first edition open to U.S. agents.

READ MORE: Jamaica launches “Come Back” ad campaign in Canada

Donnie Dawson, Jamaica’s Deputy Director of Tourism for the Americas, joined the event to share a message of gratitude to the travel advisor community.

“Over the last two years, Jamaica’s Canadian and U.S. sales teams have done a tremendous job getting our message out there, but we would not be where we are today without the support of travel advisors,” said Dawson.

“We thank you for the work you do, and we look forward to your continued support. Let’s make Jamaica the number one destination for this upcoming winter season.”

During the three-hour session, travel advisors heard from 30 top-tier travel partners from North America and Jamaica.

Lorraine Brisbois, Corporate Manager, Sunwing Travel Group. (Supplied)

Participating suppliers included Canadian airlines and tour operators, major resort chains, smaller boutique hotels and villas, and on-island attractions and tour companies.

Agents also had the opportunity to connect with representatives in interactive breakout sessions to learn more about their unique offerings and incentive programs.

“Jamaica has a new message: it’s time to come back,” said Angella Bennett, regional director, Canada, JTB.

Bennett shared Jamaica’s fresh marketing campaign and gave agents an overview of the country’s strong recovery.

“Since Jamaica reopened in June 2020, the destination has welcomed 5.7 million visitors generating $5.7 billion USD in tourism revenue. We have approximately 8,000 new rooms slated for construction on the island in the next two to five years. In 2023, we will see the completion of a new 2,000-room Princess Hotel in Hanover, the 260-room Sandals Dunn’s River, and a 700-room RIU Hotel in Falmouth.”

rom left (of JTB): Donovan White, Director of Tourism; Angella Bennett, Regional Director, Canada; Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, photographed in Toronto in November. (File photo/supplied)

Speaking with PAX after the event, Bennett called this year’s showcase “phenomenal.”

“It was absolutely fantastic to see the response towards Jamaica and all the partners, hotels, and airlines presented,” she said.

Bennett was very impressed by how engaged travel advisors were during the presentation. The average participant, she said, remained online between one to 2.5 hours.

“There’s so much interest in Jamaica this winter,” she said.

Jamaica’s state of emergency

Earlier this week, PAX spoke with Bennett to get a clearer sense of what Jamaica’s current “state of emergency” order means for tourism.

Bennet described the measure as a “strategic move” by the Jamaica government to address gang-related violence and crimes in certain areas within the community.

“It’s really to help residents have a safer environment to live in and raise their children,” she said, noting how the country’s hot spots for crime are not near major tourism zones.

READ MORE: Jamaica has declared a state of emergency. The JTB’s Angella Bennett explains what this means

Jamaica's overall crime rate, in respect to crimes against tourists, remains very low at just 0.002 per cent, according to the latest stats from the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Dunn's River Falls & Park, Ocho Rios, Jamaica. (Unsplash/Lakeisha Bennett)

That’s within a population of 2.8 million people. “Which puts things into perspective,” Bennett said.

In a statement Monday (Dec. 12), Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, assured travellers that Jamaica remains a safe destination.

“The enhanced security measures being implemented are a deliberate strategy by our government to take proactive steps to maintain a safe and secure Jamaica for all law-abiding citizens and tourists,” Minister Bartlett said. “These enhanced measures apply to limited areas in Jamaica and the vast majority of the island's resort areas are not impacted.”

“Jamaica remains a safe place for travellers and the statistics reflect this fact…Visitors can continue to come to our island with confidence and enjoy all that the destination has to offer.”

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