Jamaica strikes the right note with UK holiday makers
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has announced that visitor numbers from the United Kingdom (UK) rose by an impressive 18 per cent year on year at a time when many destinations experienced a summer slump in visitor numbers due to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The number of visitors to Jamaica's shores from the UK rose by nearly a fifth in June 2014, making it the 14th month of successive visitor growth for the island.
A number of the JTB's initiatives have contributed to this impressive increase in visitor figures. Over the past 12 months, activities ranging from sponsoring the JAMAICA Get All Right yacht during the Clipper Race 2013/2014, to hosting Jamaica House 2014 in Glasgow have bolstered the island's appeal.
The JTB sponsored the JAMAICA Get All Right yacht in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the world's longest yacht race. During the course of the almost yearlong event, the new JAMAICA Get All Right branding was promoted around the world on both land and sea. The race showcased Jamaica and its extensive tourist offerings as the yacht circumnavigated the globe, visiting major tourism destinations such as Africa, Australia, China and the USA.
During the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games in July and August, the JTB hosted the hugely successful Jamaica House 2014 in Glasgow. Partnering with industry players Barrhead Travel, Virgin Atlantic, Sandals Resorts, Jewel Resorts, and Secrets Resorts, Jamaica House was the place to be for all things Jamaican while watching the nation's athletes dominate the track. The celebrations, which took place at private members' club, 29, provided further exposure for the new Jamaica branding and destination Jamaica to more than 300 specially invited guests and tourism partners. Sponsors have already seen bookings increase out of Scotland one month after the campaign, with Barrhead Travel sharing bookings for Jamaica were up for July and August by 62 per cent year on year.
Kicking off the autumn's activity, Jamaica will host four major UK regional radio stations as part of a major broadcast initiative that will see stations from all over the world broadcasting from Jewel Runaway Bay Beach and Golf Resort. Leading UK radio stations, Magic FM, Scotland's Greatest Hits, Juice Merseyside and KM FM will head to Jamaica's shores to broadcast shows live for a week in September. Their listeners will get a taste for Jamaica across the airwaves and will also be in with the chance of winning a luxury holiday for two to Jamaica.
Visitor numbers are expected to show further increase during Jamaica's peak winter travel period. This is due partly to the platinum cruise ship Thomson Dream making Montego Bay its base from the end of 2014. This will be the first time a British cruise ship has made Jamaica its home port. In support of this new Caribbean cruise hub, Thomson Airways will operate flights to Jamaica from November 2014 until March 2015 from destinations including Glasgow, East Midlands, Doncaster, Cardiff and Newcastle. According to Thomson Holidays, both flights and cruise are currently selling well.
Elizabeth Fox, regional director UK/Northern Europe for the Jamaica Tourist Board, said: "We are extremely pleased with our increase in visitors - the first half of 2014 has been very good for tourism to Jamaica. With increased airlift and the expected 'Commonwealth Games effect', the opening of the Sensatori Resort Jamaica in Negril this spring and Hyatt Ziva and Zilara properties opening in Montego Bay later this year, Jamaica is sure to see an uplift in visitors for the rest of 2014 and retain its title as the UK's favourite Caribbean island."