Resuscitating Jamaica’s tourism industry

Jamaica’s tourism status on life support after images of gun violence and
mayhem were plastered across websites, newspapers and TV screens last month,
the Government is seeking to give it a jolt of energy with a
multimillion-dollar marketing makeover.

The Cabinet has approved $10
million for the tourism ministry to embark on a massive public-relations
campaign to repair Brand Jamaica, which has haemorrhaged untold bookings since
unrest rippled across the capital.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett is
overseeing the marketing blitz kicking off in New York Tuesday.

 Industry representatives will seek to woo tour
operators, travel agents, airline partners, and the diaspora and travel writers
back to the northern Caribbean island’s shores.

The campaign, which will target
principal markets in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada, will be
funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund, along with support from other industry
stakeholders, Bartlett said.

The Government will also utilise
Facebook, Twitter and other social-networking sites.

Bartlett said that a decision had
been taken to pull advertising from the North American and European markets
when the Tivoli Gardens, west Kingston, raid began on 24 May.

He said one of the more important
aims of the nine-month programme was to show the world that Jamaica’s security
forces were in total control.

“The message we are taking to
them is that there is a game change here in Jamaica and Jamaica is not a place where
we have marauding gunmen going around, but that we are doing a cleaning-up operation,”
Bartlett said.

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