Tourism Minister in London for Promotional Blitz of Jamaica holidays
Trying to restore confidence among travellers after the violent incidents in Kingston, Jamaica's Tourism Minister has flown down to London in a bid to reassure UK holidaymakers that Jamaica holidays are still a safe Caribbean destination.
Jamaica's Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, is in London for a one-week series of meetings, visits and press events, as part of a $10 million tourism promotional blitz, aimed at preventing any loss in revenue to the sector as a result of the recent activities in Western Kingston.
In an interview with the JIS News London on Sunday, Bartlett said the programme was aimed at restoring trust and confidence in the destination and boosting the appeal of Jamaica holidays.
"Following on the incident in Kingston, we have received a lot of negative publicity affecting, somewhat, the attitude and response of the tourism market. The programme we are on is to try to reposition the brand, and restore the confidence and the trust," he said.
He noted that the Jamaican Diaspora has an important role to play in this process. "We put a lot of value on the Diaspora discussions. They are very essential to the destination; they are essential in showing the market that Jamaica is a safe destination, and that choice is informed by the attitude of the Diaspora," he stated.
The Minister noted further that overseas nationals are a critical part of the tourism market, making up 10 % of total visitor arrivals, and are the best marketers and the greatest ambassadors for Jamaica.
However, he voiced concern that some sections of the Diaspora were misinformed about the activities in West Kingston.
"It was the state's response to dealing with criminal activity and to deal with it in a divisive way. What may have started as a part of an extradition exercise has morphed into a national programme to create a game changer in the way in which the country operates and the role the state is playing in wiping out deviant behaviour, particularly gunmanship and drugs and crime," Bartlett pointed out.
While in the UK, the Tourism Minister will be meeting with a number of British government officials, as well as representatives of the British Caribbean All Parliamentary Group, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and the British Air Transport Association.
He will also be doing a series of media interviews including with the BBC World Service, Sky News, The Independent and Guardian newspapers, and a number of ethnic media houses.
In addition to the UK, the Minister and tourism officials will also be visiting the United States and Canada.
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