Tag: Kingston


This is no White-wash!

Tourism director tells elite travel agents Jamaica is a hot destination

Monday, May 06, 2019

Donovan White, the director of tourism, last Tuesday grabbed the undivided attention of some of the world’s most elite travel agents, bombarding them with hard facts and figures showing Jamaica as one of the hottest tourism destinations.

White, whose tenure so far has been crowned with success after success, was spending time with elite members of Gordon “Butch” Stewart’s Chairman’s Royal Club who were being celebrated by Sandals on National Travel Advisor Day at the Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios, St Ann.

“Travellers from around the globe have come to recognise that Jamaica offers an unsurpassed vacation experience from the food, beaches, hotels and of course Reggae, an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. It is a very exciting and critical time for us as a destination,” White said. “We are experiencing record-breaking numbers, receiving global recognition and undergoing major developments.

“As a destination, we know we are only as successful as our partners. So, today, I want to share where we are and where we are heading to help you provide your clients with an unmatched holiday experience here in Jamaica.

We kicked off 2019 with record-breaking numbers:

• Jamaica was the first Caribbean destination to welcome over one million visitors (approximately 1.3 million) through December 2018 to the end of March 2019), generating just under US$950 million in revenue for Jamaica’s tourism sector.

• Jamaica also received a number of notable industry awards, most recently as the Best Destination in the Caribbean and among the 14 Best Destinations in the World by 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards; Jamaica captured four gold awards at the Travvy Awards — Best Tourism Board, Best Culinary Destination, Best Wedding Destination and Best Honeymoon Destination

• Most recently during last month’s ITB Berlin, the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) selected Jamaica as Destination of the Year.

• Sangster International Airport (SIA) in Montego Bay, is transforming Jamaica with the expansion of the departure terminal and commercial area under a new strategic plan.

• The airport is expanding infrastructure improvements that leverage the latest technology and overall experience for passengers.

• The design theme is being developed to reflect the country’s natural beauty.

• MBJ is adding 25,800 square feet to the departure terminal to improve service for passengers.

• The commercial area will be developed with a renewed focus on Jamaican specialty products and original handicrafts

• Jamaica is set to welcome increased travellers this summer, securing over 1.4 million air seats this season, an increase of nearly 110, 000 or 8.4 per cent over last summer.

• Jamaica’s primary source market, the United States, has seen the biggest growth, having secured over 100,000 additional seats for the summer period between May and August 2019. This is strong evidence of the confidence US airline partners have placed in Jamaica:

• The north-east region has seen the most significant increase, accounting for more than half of the seats secured.

• From New York-JFK, JetBlue Airways has added more capacity and increased frequency to Kingston and Montego Bay and Delta has added daily service to Kingston.

• United Airlines has increased frequency to Montego Bay from Baltimore, and Southwest has increased frequency to Montego Bay.

• Sun Country Airlines will begin new service from Dallas to Montego Bay starting May 24. This service will operate through to August 19, 2019.

• Europe has grown its overall seat capacity from this region by over 9,000 seats or 5.5 per cent compared to last year. This is due primarily to the addition of new service from Manchester, larger equipment from British Airways out of Gatwick and TUI out of Manchester. TUI has also doubled their seat capacity from Belgium and Holland with longer rotations.

• In the Caribbean, new direct service from Barbados twice weekly on Caribbean Airlines largely accounts for the six per cent increase this summer.

As we know, events help to sell destinations. They attract visitors and provide unique selling proposition and positioning while supporting communities.

In 2019, Jamaica offers several exciting cultural events that will draw visitors from around the globe to experience the true heart of Jamaica.

Coming up this year, we have:

• Reggae Sumfest (July 14-21), which is Jamaica’s premier summer festival highlighting the destination’s best music talents.

“At the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), we KNOW the value of events in marketing the destination, as they continue to be one of the main elements in our marketing strategy. In fact, so many of our visitors travel to Jamaica specifically to attend some of these events.In knowing all of this, the tourism ministry has launched the TOP EVENTS website, a designated platform that is optimised for engagement, showing visitors and locals the many reasons to enjoy the offerings of the destination.”

“It is a medium for partners to interact with visitors in a stimulating and exciting way. TOP EVENTS will employ the use of technology to reach target markets and the app will enhance customer experience.

“At the JTB, we are leveraging the current digital transformation to market the destination. As a destination, we strive to ensure that our guests have a seamless experience throughout their journey — from the dream phase to the travel phase. With this new platform, we can enhance visitors’ experiences and continue this journey while guests are on-island.

“We are always energised and fired up to share abroad the gem that is Jamaica, because we live it, because we love it and because we believe in it. And we hope you all do too. I wish to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to you for helping Jamaica achieve another record-breaking year so far.

“We wish to thank you individually and collectively for your unwavering commitment in selling our destination and ensuring Jamaica remains top of mind for potential travellers looking for a place to vacation. We would like to encourage you to keep up the great work in helping us fill those seats I mentioned earlier, as we build on our past success.

“We are excited to welcome your clients at our beloved destination and we look forward to our continued success together. Again, thanks to you, our committed travel specialists, for your tireless efforts which have ensured that we continue to achieve our collective 2019 goals.”

The tourism director also had high praise for Sandals, noting: “We see Sandals Resorts International as a significant contributor to Jamaica’s hospitality industry and by extension the Jamaican economy. The company’s cutting-edge vision is always an inspiring model for keeping up in an ever-changing industry.

Part of the cutting-edge vision is the value placed on the travel agent relationship. This event today is only one example of how building on that relationship can help us as a destination to sustain unprecedented growth.”

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Reggae Sumfest Cruises Into Trinidad For Launch Party

Published:Wednesday | April 3, 2019 | 
From left: Alicia Cabrera, Bunji Garlin,
Fayann Lyons and Joe Bogdanovich at the Trinidad launch of Reggae Sumfest.
Reggae Sumfest officially kicked off their launch tour on the twin-island republic of Trinidad & Tobago last Thursday, on-board the popular Ocean Pelican Cruise.

The first Sumfest launch to be held in a Caribbean country outside of Jamaica, the filled-to-capacity cruise event set sail from Anchorage, Chaguaramas, at 8:30 p.m., after a short programme, which included presentations by Alicia Cabrera, senior marketing manager of Caribbean Airlines; Camile Glenister, deputy director tourism marketing for Jamaica; and of course Joe Bogdanovich, chairman of Downsound Entertainment and owner of Reggae Sumfest.

The Sumfest boss said he was committed to advancing the unity of the region through music. “Caribbean people love reggae and soca and there is a strong unifying power in that.”

The launch party continued until 11 p.m. with guests partying to the musical stylings of Trinidad-based DJ Trevlyn, who showed excellent skills in his selection of reggae music mixed with a touch of soca. The energy and vibe of the event was on continuous high for the duration of the cruise.

This event is the first of four launch events for Sumfest 2019. In April, festival organisers will host the customary New York launch in Brooklyn. The Sumfest MoBay launch is scheduled for May, while the final event will be held in June in Kingston.

In addition to the launch activity, Caribbean Airlines marked its partnership with Reggae Sumfest by adding the Reggae Sumfest logo on either side of the nose of a 737 aircraft. The official unveiling was done the day before the launch at the airline’s hangar. All agreed that this initiative to launch in Trinidad will not only mark a solid partnership with the airline but will also open the doors to increase the visitor arrivals from the region to Jamaica while encouraging the unifying force that is already in motion between the musical cultures of Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica.

Festival organisers stated in a release that anticipation for Sumfest 2019 is “sky high”, with the first set of early bird ticket flash sales, held in February, being completely sold out in less than 48 hours. They upped the excitement ante earlier this month when it was announced that the event would be headlined by reggae artistes Buju Banton, Beres Hammond and Chronixx.

Sumfest 2019 rolls out an impressive schedule of events leading up to the greatly anticipated concert nights on July 19 and 20. The week of events is expected to kick off on July 14 with the Sumfest Mawnin Medz beach party and followed by the Street Dance, All White Party, all black Blitz Party, Global Sound Clash, as well as the Reggae Sumfest Symposium.

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Caribbean Airlines signs on as new sponsor of Reggae Sumfest

Chairman of Downsound Entertainment and Reggae Sumfest Joe Bogdanovich has inked a deal with Caribbean Airlines.
This makes the airline the new presenting sponsor for Reggae Sumfest 2019.
Reggae Sumfest 2019, presented by Caribbean Airlines, will take place from July 14 to 20 at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, St. James.
The festival will be one full week of events including, Inspire Awards, beach party, street dance, white party, The Blitz, Sound Clash, Sumfest Symposium, and ending with two festival nights.

The local party scene is ‘lit’ this summer. To help you plan in advance, Loop News highlights 10 events over the period you should add to you calendar.

2Reggae Sumfest will be held in Montego Bay, St James, from July 15 to 22. Jamaica’s premier reggae festival is a week of parties and performances from some of the top names in reggae and dancehall. Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, Aidonia, Bounty Killa, Spice, Stonebwoy from Ghana, Capleton, Cham and Maxi Priest are all among the star-studded lineup. The week also includes a conference examining the state of the reggae industry.

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After touring a large part of the globe thanks to his music and being the pioneers in the genre Reggae – Dancehall in Mexico, Jah Fabio continues to conquer markets and challenging himself to achieve things that were previously considered impossible for the Spanish-speaking genre.

Now the result of his hard work over more than 10 years of artistic career, he has been signed as the only artist in Spanish, by one of the most important Reggae – Dancehall festivals in the world, the “Reggae Sumfest”, which will develop in Jamaica from July 15 to 21 in Montego Bay.

Jah Fabio will be on the main stage of the event on Dancehall night, on Friday, July 20 along with important artists like Sizzla, Popcaan, Bounty Killer, Agent Sasco, I Octane, Aidonia, Tommy Lee, among others, icons of the Jamaican music in the world.

Undoubtedly, this is a very important Latin share since this drives the connection of Spanish-speaking reggae and dancehall artists with Jamaica, something that a few years ago seemed impossible.

In addition to this, he already plans visits to Colombia and Chile where he will consolidate what he has done in previous years.

Official Website of the Reggae Sumfest Festival in Jamaica: https://reggaesumfest.com/

Facebook: @jahfabiomx Instagram: @jahfabiomx Twitter: @jahfabiomx


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Minister Highlights Importance of Music Tourism

Photo: Garwin Davis

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett,

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says music tourism is a rapidly expanding market, which plays perfectly into Jamaica’s strength as the top entertainment destination in the region.
  • Addressing the graduation ceremony for the DJ Capacity Building Training Programme at the Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, St. James, on June 21, Mr. Bartlett said to fully capitalize, “we are positioning” the tourism sector to work strategically with the music industry to create valuable products and experiences for visitors.
  • “Each year more and more reggae music fans converge on the island to enjoy great music and the offerings of a remarkable destination. The resounding success of music festivals like Reggae Sumfest and Sting have helped to enhance our international profile significantly,” he added.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says music tourism is a rapidly expanding market, which plays perfectly into Jamaica’s strength as the top entertainment destination in the region.

Addressing the graduation ceremony for the DJ Capacity Building Training Programme at the Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, St. James, on June 21, Mr. Bartlett said to fully capitalize, “we are positioning” the tourism sector to work strategically with the music industry to create valuable products and experiences for visitors.

“Our music continues to set Jamaica apart from rival destinations,” the Minister pointed out.

“Each year more and more reggae music fans converge on the island to enjoy great music and the offerings of a remarkable destination. The resounding success of music festivals like Reggae Sumfest and Sting have helped to enhance our international profile significantly,” he added.

Mr. Bartlett said that while the Ministry is committed to fostering the continued development of the entertainment industry and its full integration into the tourism product, he is fully cognizant that there is still more to be done to maximize the potential of “this important” sub-sector.

“So, as we put in place the framework to further diversify our tourism product, we are well aware of the enormous benefits if we get this right,” Mr. Bartlett said.

“We have to give visitors more things to do when they come to our island. We have to tap into their passion points, and music is a great way to start. Simply put, we are placing a special focus on developing entertainment tourism as part of our growth strategy,” he noted.

Mr. Bartlett said that while the country’s goal of welcoming five million visitors annually remains on target, there is simply no room for complacency.

He said that as good as the current offerings may be, stakeholders should always be looking to innovate and focus on growing earnings per visitor and retaining more of those earnings in Jamaica.
“It goes without saying that entertainment is an area in which we are world beaters,” the Minister further added.

“Therefore we are taking the necessary steps to capitalize on the tremendous potential Jamaica has in this area to significantly boost our arrivals and tourism earnings,” he said.

The Minister commended the Head of the Ministry’s Sports and Entertainment Network, Entertainment Consultant and Promoter, Kamal Bankay, noting that “he is doing an excellent job leading this initiative.”

“This is being done in collaboration with my colleague, Hon. Olivia Grange and her team from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport,” Mr. Bartlett said.

“We will also be leveraging February’s Reggae Month to appeal to visitors. In addition, the month marks the birthdays of Jamaica’s most recognizable musicians, the King of Reggae Bob Marley and the Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Brown, both great selling points,” the Minister said.

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