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WTM: Jamaica focuses marketing on experiences, sports and culture

The Jamaica Tourist Board will focus on experiences, sports and cultural heritage in its advertising campaign in January 2010 in a bid to attract a new generation of visitors.

Tourism minister Edmund Bartlett said younger visitors’ view of Jamaica is mostly from media coverage, both positive and negative.

“People may see reports of crime and violence but our tagline is: ‘Once you go, you know,'” said Bartlett.

He said music, sports and culture are as much an attraction as beaches, and local people are the island’s best ambassadors.

“Jamaicans have a mystique that comes from being at a confluence of different cultures: British, French, Dutch, and, of course, North American and African – black, white and everything in between.”

The excitement over Usain Bolt – currently the world’s fastest man – could see more of a focus on sports tourism. Bartlett is meeting with London Mayor Boris Johnson this week to discuss promotional possibilities in the run up to the 2012 Olympics.

Golf is a growth area too, with five courses currently under development on the island.

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