Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett departed the island yesterday to participate in the Jamaica Travel Market (JTM) at the Sopwell House, London.
The JTM is being organised by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) for the fourth time, to showcase Jamaica as a premiere destination. It provides the ideal Business-to-Business platform for British tour operators and agents, primarily, to meet with Jamaican suppliers and partners directly.
“We are very excited about this event and the entire industry joins us on this activity where we are able to meet with tour operators, travel agents, airlines and all other partners who constitute a particular strength of the market outside of Jamaica,” said Minister Bartlett.
The JTM will take place from September 25-27 ahead of the World Travel Market (WTM), which is also a major promotional platform for the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
“Jamaica is probably one of the few countries that has taken the steps to have its own travel market outside its country and we try to do it ahead of the biggest travel market in the world. It is an opportunity for Jamaican suppliers to conclude or sign contracts so that when they get to the world travel market, they would have already completed most of their business,” Minister Bartlett said.
The World Travel Market is a major tourism tradeshow that introduces global travel buyers to over 5,000 of the biggest destinations and brands in the world. This year it will feature 11 Jamaican companies, creating the ideal opportunity to meet industry professionals and conduct business deals.
Through its industry networks, the WTM also creates personal and business opportunities while also providing customers with quality contacts, content and communities.
While in London, the Minister and his delegation will take the opportunity to negotiate and finalize the JTB’s UK marketing arrangements, given the likely impact of Brexit on the value of the UK Pound and resultant affordability of travel.
The Minister will also have discussions with the JTB and key partners about any further implications to the market as a result of the sudden collapse of British travel company Thomas Cook.
“This travel market event is timely, because it coincides with a disruption that has just happened. The second largest tour operator and distributor in the tourism industry, Thomas Cook folded a few days ago. The effects of which is devastating to several tourism dependent countries,” said the Minister.
He added: “We know that potentially Jamaica will potentially be affected, to the tune of US$10 million because of the fall-out of approximately 11 million passengers. The good news is that we are moving to cauterise this through arrangements with our partners and the proactive approach that we have utilised to ensure that the fallout to our market will be minimised.
“When we come back from the Jamaica Travel Market, we will be able to give a fuller report in terms of the extent to which we will be able to cover ourselves and protect our market.”
Minister Bartlett is accompanied by Mr. Donovan White, Director of Tourism, and will return to the island on September 30, 2019.