ON THE COAST: The new campaign caters to resort areas like Ocho Rios, Kingston, MoBay, Negril and Port Antonio.
"Feel like a tourist in your own island!" That was the warm invitation issued by the Jamaica Tourist Board on Thursday evening, as the tourism agency joined forces with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and other industry power players to launch the 2015 domestic campaign Experience Jamaica, against a trade-show backdrop at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
To mark the occasion, the hotel's Grand Ballroom was exquisitely transformed into an exhibition hall, with over 50 tourism stakeholders offering significant discounts on their products and services, which will be available throughout the campaign, which ends in November.
In a nutshell, the Experience Jamaica promotion was created to encourage Jamaicans at home to go out, taste, see, feel and enjoy the island's tourism products.
"[The] campaign presents a unique opportunity for Jamaicans to enjoy a truly memorable vacation, and this trade show is bringing many of our partners together so persons can see the wide options that are available," noted Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook. "Each day we at the JTB and the JHTA and the wider tourism community attempt to share the Jamaican experience with the rest of the world because we are proud of what we have. This is therefore the opportunity for residents of Jamaica to experience these wonderful product offerings for themselves. " He adds, "This is our way of saying to you, 'Take a staycation right here in Jamaica.'"
In this the JTB's 60th year, tourism partners (hotels, attraction operators, tour operators and transport companies) have committed to providing Experience Jamaica discounts of 20% to 60% across the resort areas of Ocho Rios, the South Coast, Montego Bay, Negril, Port Antonio and Kingston. "Too many times we have visitors come here and experience our attractions, while as Jamaicans spend too little time experiencing our own island," remarked Nicola Madden Greig, current head of the JHTA. "So that's what we are promoting. Go out and experience Jamaica, and be able to speak proudly and confidently about our island."
According to the JTB, patrons can start benefitting from the great deals on offer from now through June 30, and from August 15 to November 15. On August 15 and August 29, Experience Jamaica road shows will be held in Montego Bay and Mandeville respectively.
And, as Pennicook emphasizes, a truly Jamaican adventure awaits. "The domestic market is hugely important for the tourist industry," he explains. "We continue to capitalize on every opportunity that we get to encourage Jamaicans to vacation at home."