Jamaica Makes Its Presence Known In Canada
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett was in Canada in late September, making it clear that the destination had a goal of attracting half a million Canadian visitors to the island by 2025.
Minister Bartlett was accompanied by Jamaica’s Director of Tourism, Donovan White, and Fiona Fennell, Public Relations and Communications Manager for the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) for the winter season marketing blitz in Toronto alongside JTB Regional Director for Canada, Angella Bennett.
The multi-day mission took place from Sept. 20 to Sept. 23 and included a series of industry engagements with travel partners, community groups and local media.
Throughout the week, Jamaica’s top tourism officials conducted meetings with senior executives from Air Canada Vacations, Sunwing, Travel Brands, and Canada Jetlines, which begins flying to Montego Bay on Nov. 5. The strategic discussions focused on the integral role that airlines and tour operators will play in driving the destination’s new 500,000-visitor goal, and the importance of collaboration between the JTB and industry partners in order to increase airlift and vacation packages to Jamaica for Canadian travellers.
Minister Bartlett observed: “Canada represents major potential to attract a significant number of visitors to the island. We recently revealed an ambitious new goal to target half a million Canadian visitors annually by the end of 2025. Connecting with key tourism partners and stakeholders in the market this month allows us to nurture these critical industry relationships while identifying strategic growth tactics that will help us realize this 500,000-visitor objective.”
As part of its new growth plan, the JTB is looking to tap into the Asian-Canadian diaspora as an important emerging market for the island’s tourism sector. Minister Bartlett highlighted the importance of the Asian demographic and the historical ties between Jamaica and China during his keynote address at the Mandarin Holidays/Sunbook gala event hosted in Toronto on Sept. 20. The event attracted more than 200 travel agents, tour operators and industry representatives who specialize in servicing the local Asian Canadian community.
The delegation from Jamaica also travelled to Hamilton to tour the extensive archive of the Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverly (Miss Lou) at McMaster University. Minister Bartlett heralded the impressive collection of personal artifacts from the beloved Jamaican poet, folklorist, writer and educator.
During his time at the University, the Minister also began a dialogue with the leadership to explore the possibility of establishing Satellite Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) for further building tourism resilience across the globe.
Additional events and engagements during Minister Bartlett’s in-market mission included a ‘Come Back to Luxury’ dinner event to launch Jamaica’s new luxury-focused partnership with Ensemble, the Edith Baxter Memorial Award luncheon and presentation of the inaugural Resilience Awards by the GTRCMC, and the Canada Regional Jamaica Diaspora Conference.
On Sept. 25, Director Donovan White, Regional Director Angella Bennett, and PR and Communications Manager Fiona Fennell travelled onward to Montréal to meet with representatives from Air Transat and host a special Destination Update event for French-Canadian travel advisors and industry partners in the Québec region.
White said that: “As Jamaica’s second-largest source market, Canada has seen tremendously strong growth over the last year. Our arrivals from 2023 are expected to outpace 2022 by more than 40 percent, and this is in large part due to the JTB’s strong working relationships with industry partners in Canada, and our strategic efforts to engage the retail travel community from coast to coast.”
Go to www.visitjamaica.com for more.
IN THE PHOTOS
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett (left), speaks to Air Canada Vacations Senior Executives at a working breakfast meeting on Sept. 21 during Jamaica’s in-market winter marketing campaign. Looking on are Donovan White, Director of Tourism, Jamaica (centre) and Angella Bennett, Regional Director, Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board (right).
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (centre), and Director of Tourism, Donovan White (far right), met with Canada Jetlines representatives (from left) Sanjay Kopalkar, Director of Sales and Business Development; Charles McKee, Chief Commercial Officer; and Eddie Doyle, President and CEO, in Toronto on Sept. 22.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (second from left) pauses for a moment during a working breakfast meeting with Senior Executives of Air Canada Vacations. Pictured also are (left from right) JTB representatives Fiona Fennell, Public Relations and Communications Manager; Director of Tourism for Jamaica, Donovan White; and Angella Bennett, Regional Director for Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board; and Air Canada Vacations representatives Diana Rodriquez, Product Director; Shirley Lam, Manager of Product; and Dina Bertolo, Vice President of Product Development.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, addressing attendees at the Mandarin Holidays/Sunbook gala event held in Toronto on Sept. 20.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (centre), pauses for a photo during a tour of the Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverly archive at McMaster University. Also present were (left to right) Donovan White, Director of Tourism for Jamaica; Vivian Lewis, Librarian at McMaster University; Younna Bailey Magalhaes, Consul at the Consulate General of Jamaica; Dr. David Farrar, President of McMaster University; Kurt Davis, Consul General of Jamaica for Toronto; Angella Bennett, Regional Director for Canada, JTB; and Fiona Fennell, PR and Communications Manager, JTB.
Donovan White, Director of Tourism for Jamaica; Emilie Giguère, Business Development Officer, Québec and Atlantic Canada, JTB; Julia Ventura, Business Development Officer, Québec, Palladium Hotel Group; Fiona Fennell, PR and Communications Manager, JTB; and Angella Bennett, Regional Director, Canada, JTB. pose for photo during a Destination Update event in Montréal on Sept. 25.