KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday April 22, 2016 – Jamaica’s tourism officials will meet soon with their counterparts in Cuba and the Dominican Republic to finalize an arrangement for the multi-destination marketing of the countries.
The countries have been in talks on reaching a tripartite agreement that will boost arrivals and add value to the tourism product in the Caribbean region.
And speaking at the recent official opening of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in New Kingston, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says the three countries should soon be sealing a deal.
A Memorandum of Understanding should be agreed on by next month.
Bartlett has also disclosed that government is also moving to reposition the island’s capital, Kingston, as a tourist destination, with a focus on its residents, culture and heritage, music and entertainment.
The minister noted that a survey carried out by a New York-based company indicated that tourists are mostly drawn to Jamaica’s food, followed by its music and the love displayed by the people.
“Those three attributes spell one word: happiness. So we are a happiness destination and I will drive that key passion point to increase arrivals,” he said.
Meantime, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) will be looking to secure new business from tourism markets in Latin America and the Caribbean during the 26th staging of the Jamaica Product Exchange trade expo next weekend.
Over 100 tour operators, travel agents, and media representatives from the region, North America and Europe are scheduled to attend the event which is billed as the largest tourism trade show in Jamaica.
Director of Tourism Paul Pennicook said it makes sense to target Latin America and the Caribbean given Jamaica’s location.
“Geography dictates that we should go into these markets and do some work,” he said.
Pennicock noted that the country is seeing increased airlift from the region, with flights from the Panama-based Copa Airlines into Montego Bay and Kingston four times per week.
But he said while there will be increased focus on the Latin American and Caribbean markets, the JTB will also work to maintain the country’s presence in North America, which accounts for about 80 per cent of the tourism business to Jamaica.