Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says the country hopes to capitalize on recent endorsements by international media companies CNN, Bloomberg and The Travel, which have hailed the country as one of the must-see destinations for the new year.
CNN’s travel editors, in compiling their annual list of favourite places to visit, said: “with James Bond, Bob Marley, turquoise waters and dazzling waterfalls, Jamaica has a lot to offer, particularly in 2020”.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg, in listing Jamaica among its top-24 destinations of choice in 2020, cited Port Antonio, with the popular Geejam Hotel, and Montego Bay, with the historic Half Moon Resort, as major pull factors for visitors.
“Jamaica’s powerful tourism industry will get extra buzz after the April release of No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s last James Bond movie, which was filmed partially in Port Antonio,” the media outlet noted.
Meanwhile, the north coast resort towns of Falmouth and Ocho Rios were hailed as “must visit” ports by The Travel online magazine.
According to Bartlett, he has told the team at the Ministry “not to lose sight of the moment and to do everything to ensure that the country capitalises on these important endorsements”.
He said that Jamaica “could not pay for that level of international exposure”.
“Bloomberg Media, for example, is considered one of the largest global media companies in existence today, reaching a premium audience of 62 million across multiple platforms – digital, television, radio, print and live events,” Bartlett noted.
“And what can we say about CNN? It reaches some 90 million households in the US and reportedly more than 384 million households worldwide through its CNN International,” he pointed out.
“To say the stars have aligned in our favour would be putting it mildly”— Senior Strategist/Adviser in the Ministry, Delano Seiveright
Senior Strategist/Adviser in the Ministry, Delano Seiveright, for his part, said that the endorsements come against the background of Toni-Ann Singh winning the prestigious Miss World title, the upcoming celebration of Bob Marley’s 75th birthday in February and the April release of the 25th film in the James Bond franchise.
“To say the stars have aligned in our favour would be putting it mildly,” he said.
“The Travel, in late 2019, listed us as one of the top cruise destinations in the world, then we had Toni-Ann winning Miss World and now we have CNN and Bloomberg telling their millions of viewers and readers that Jamaica should be on their list of must-see destinations in 2020. There is no way we could have paid for this kind of publicity,” he noted.
Seiveright said the significance of Jamaica marking the 75th birthday of Bob Marley should not be underestimated, noting that the late reggae icon is a legend with a massive worldwide following.
He added that the Jamaica Tourist Board’s marketing team has a lot of “ammunition” at its disposal and that everything will be done to capitalise on the unexpectedly high level of visibility “that has fallen on our lap”.