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Second Jamaica Travel Market hailed a success

TRIO: Laverne Walker (left), Sales Director Sackville Travel Services, Beverley Lindsay, founder of Diamond Travel Birmingham and Jamaica Tourist Board’s Shenika Bennette enjoy the party atmosphere

FOR THE second year running, the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) hosted its own tradeshow, Jamaica Travel Market (JTM) on September 28-29 at the Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa resort.

The two-day event focused solely on the island and again provided the ideal B2B platform for British tour operators and agents to meet with Jamaican suppliers and partners directly. They were also given the opportunity to speak directly with Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, The Hon. Edmund Bartlett who shared the island’s exciting resort developments and new investments.

PLANNING: Representatives from Sandals Resort discussing business opportunities with one of the tour operators who visited the Jamaica Travel Market in Luton

The tradeshow was a roaring success following on from its inaugural event in 2016. One of the highlights was again the Gala Awards Dinner where Bartlett told delegates that he aims to attract 300,000 UK visitors a year from the UK and become the leading Caribbean destination for UK tourists.

The dinner also honoured some of Jamaica’s top performing tour operators. Awards and honourable mentions were given to those who had the largest growth in room nights to Jamaica and were handed out by Bartlett alongside Jamaica Tourist Board’s Regional Director UK and Europe, Elizabeth Fox. The winners on the night included:

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett (fourth from left) and Jamaica Tourism Board’s Regional Director UK and Europe, Elizabeth Fox (second right) join the various award winners at the gala travel awards dinner hosted by the Jamaica Tourist Board in Luton Hoo

• BA Holidays won largest growth by a UK tour operator

• Barrhead Travel won largest growth by a UK travel agency/tour operator

• Expedia won largest growth by a UK online tour operator

• TUI UK & Ireland won largest growth by a UK charter tour operator

• TUI Nordic won largest growth by a Nordic tour operator

• Scott Dunn won largest growth by a luxury tour operator

• Sackville Travel won largest growth by a Caribbean specialist operator

• Virgin Holidays won the Jamaican tourism industry’s Choice Award.

DOWN TO BUSINESS: Richard Moss (left) and Mark Pike of Island Routes holding discussions with a visitor to the Jamaica Travel Market in Luton

Talking from the event, Bartlett said:

“Jamaica Travel Market continues to grow from strength to strength which comes towards the end of a very positive year for us. We are on track to be up five percent on the previous year and this is a result of the efforts of our valued stakeholders. It is always great to meet the key individuals who play such an important role in driving tourism to our great island.

RETREAT: A representative from Sandy Haven Resort in Jamaica discuss travel options with a visiting tour operator at the Jamaica Travel Market in Luton

“It is also important that we regularly come together to strategically identify what the consumer passion points are and what drive people to Jamaica so that we can deliver these things to them. The key objective remains to achieve a seamless approach so that our visitors know exactly where to visit when they come to Jamaica and how to get there”.

Bartlett continued:

“As well as Jamaica Travel Market, Jamaica will soon be at the centre of the tourism industry as the island will be host to its first ever global conference at this year’s UNWTO from November 27-30. The event will bring tourism partners together in how we can make the industry more impactful and sustainable”.

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