Inau­gu­ral Ja­maica Travel Mar­ket a huge suc­cess

Jamaica Gleaner - - HOSPITALITY JAM - Janet Silvera Hos­pi­tal­ity Ja­maica Co­or­di­na­tor

JA­MAICA’S LAUNCH of its own United King­dom (UK) trade show, Ja­maica Travel Mar­ket, has been hailed as a re­sound­ing suc­cess by the coun­try’s Di­rec­tor of Tourism, Paul Pen­ni­cook.

His dec­la­ra­tion has been en­dorsed by tourism stake­hold­ers who at­tended the inau­gu­ral event at the Lu­ton Hoo Ho­tel in Lu­ton from Septem­ber 29 to 30.

Some 21 Ja­maican com­pa­nies and 40 tour op­er­a­tor com­pa­nies par­tic­i­pated in the trade show. They in­cluded San­dals Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional, Cou­ples, Jewels, Hol­i­day Inn, Half Moon, Ja­maica Inn and Palace Re­sorts.

The big three tour op­er­a­tors, Vir­gin Hol­i­days, Bri­tish Hol­i­days and TUI, as well as Lo­tus Tours, Ex­pe­dia UK and Di­as­pora ex­perts Sackville and New­mont were busy sign­ing con­tracts with the lo­cal sup­pli­ers.

Ja­maica Travel Mar­ket (JTM) re­places the an­nual World Travel Mar­ket (WTM) held in London. “It was suc­cess­ful be­yond imag­i­na­tion,” Pen­ni­cook told Hos­pi­tal­ity Ja­maica last week­end. Ja­maica has been at­tend­ing WTM for 25 years and mak­ing the de­ci­sion to leave the pre­mier global trade show last year was de­scribed as a bold move.

Pen­ni­cook said one of the most im­por­tant ben­e­fits to come out of JTM was the fact the tour op­er­a­tors were able to fo­cus on Ja­maica in­stead of con­duct­ing busi­ness for 15 min­utes and run­ning from one coun­try to the next, as is the norm at WTM.

JA­MAICAN FO­CUS

“There was no dis­trac­tion, the fo­cus was on Ja­maica; and the small hote­liers and at­trac­tion op­er­a­tors say they were able to speak with the tour op­er­a­tors they were never able to meet with at WTM, de­spite be­ing there,” said Pen­ni­cook.

Hav­ing ac­cess to a com­put­erised ap­point­ment system, all the Ja­maican sup­pli­ers ar­rived at the trade show with pre-sched­uled meet­ings.

In terms of cost, Pen­ni­cook said the tourism stake­hold­ers were able to save up to 10 per cent on what

Win­ners at the inau­gu­ral Ja­maica Travel Mar­ket Gala Din­ner and Awards are cap­tured in a cel­e­bra­tory mood with Di­rec­tor of Tourism Paul Pen­ni­cook (far left), Min­is­ter of Tourism Ed­mund Bartlett (third right) and El­iz­a­beth Fox (sec­ond right), re­gional di­rec­tor, UK/North­ern Europe, JTB, at the Lu­ton Hoo Ho­tel, United King­dom (UK). The din­ner hon­oured Ja­maica’s top-per­form­ing agents and tour op­er­a­tors in terms of room growth. Kuoni picked up the award for top UK tour op­er­a­tor (cen­tre), Sackville Travel took top UK travel agent/tour op­er­a­tor (sec­ond left), Ex­pe­dia won top UK on­line tour op­er­a­tor (far right), while TUI col­lected two awards – top UK char­ter tour op­er­a­tor and top Nordic Tour op­er­a­tor (third left).

Round Hill Ho­tel’s Josef Forstmayr and Ker­rie Bartholomew of Clear Mar­ket­ing, Round Hill’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the United King­dom.

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