Travel Courier
Issue Date: Apr 18, 2019
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JTB’S Bennett ready to grow Canadian business


(Photo above: Seen during their visit to Baxter Media’s offices in Toronto, from l to r, are Dan Hamilton, district sales manager for the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB); Baxter Media’s executive vice-president, Wendy McClung; Donnie Dawson, Jamaica’s deputy director of tourism – the Americas; the JTB’s new regional director – Canada, Angella Bennett; and the JTB’s director of tourism, Donovan White.)

It’s pretty clear that Angella Bennett has a good idea of what’s expected of her as the Jamaica Tourist Board’s new regional director for Canada.

During a visit to Travel Courier’s offices in Toronto last week, Bennett was quick to point out that “Canada remains the second-largest market for Jamaica,” and her job is to grow that business.

Bennett was joined on her visit to TC’s headquarters by the JTB’s director of tourism, Donovan White and the deputy director of tourism – the Americas, Donnie Dawson, as well as the JTB’s district sales manager here, Dan Hamilton, on a whirlwind tour of meetings designed to introduce her to Jamaica’s key travel trade partners in Canada.

Angella Bennett, new regional director – Canada for the Jamaica Tourist Board.

Asked how the meetings with Jamaica’s key Canadian travel trade partners went, Bennett said that the “conversations are positive,” and “we’re getting an update on their plans” for the upcoming spring and summer seasons.

And speaking of plans, while Bennett plans to continue taking care of the mass market business that Jamaica has coming out of Canada, she’s also got her eye on generating more luxury and other niche business, as well as building up Jamaica’s MICE traffic.

“We’re doing well with leisure groups,” Bennett said, “and we want to build on that [success] going forward.”

But the JTB’s new regional director – Canada is no stranger to this market, as she pointed out, telling TC that she’s “familiar with the big four players” here and brings over 20 years of industry experience to her new job, having worked in markets that include Canada, the US, Europe, Latin America, and Jamaica during that time.

For his part, the JTB’s director of tourism, Donovan White was in an upbeat mood, clearly pleased with the addition of Bennett to his team, but also buoyed by results of the the 2018-2019 winter season.

He told Travel Courier that, globally, this winter was up by 12.5% over the 2017-2018 season and that’s definitely a reason to celebrate.

As for Jamaica’s relationship and support of travel agents, White said that they are the “one element” of travel that doesn’t change and the JTB plans to continue to “nuture those relationships and expand them.”