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Jamaica a preferred Caribbean destination for the Chinese Traveller

Dr-Wu-at-Marketplace-2019-1 Left to Right: CHTA Marketing Exec.; Dr Wykeham McNeill, Shadow Tourism Minister; Dr Adam Wu, CEO, CBN; Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism; Patricia Alfonso Dass, Pres, CHTA and Frank Comitoano, CEO & Director General

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Lt. to Right: Sharon Parris-Chambers (Caribnewsroom), Dr. Adam Wu, Benson (Seasonal), Delegate, Marlina Charley (Interpreter)

China’s presence in the Caribbean is expanding significantly and has made a strong showing with twenty delegates at the recently held Caribbean Tourism Marketplace held January 29-31, 2019 and staged at the Montego Bay Conference Centre.

Our AccessJamaica representative met several Chinese delegates on the Marketplace floor, some were engaged through a Jamaican interpreter, while others like Benson, owner of Seasonal Company, from Chengdu, Sichuan ventured to speak directly about his interests as a delegate and as a potential investor.

Dr Wu is no stranger to international conferences and is tasked with leading MICE delegations, WTM, FITUR, and Health Tourism Conferences in Europe. He indicated during our interview China’s interest in the Caribbean travel marketplace is strong and growing. He could not accommodate all the delegates who wanted to come noting that Chinese delegates prefer Jamaica and its diversity of offerings, Bob Marley and Usain Bolt brands, Blue Mountain coffee, music and culture, amongst other things.

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Kingston the Caribbean’s next big cruise destination?

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The number of cruise tourists to Jamaica over the last decade has been growing as fast as Usain Bolt can run.      

This is because the demand for Caribbean cruises has been increasing in recent years, due to, among other things, massive medias promotions.  As more vessels expand their voyages to cover Caribbean islands far beyond the Bahamas, cruise tourists now have the opportunity to see many islands within a short space of time, as they spend their vacation on a luxury ship, with all the trappings of a holiday village.

For Jamaica, the Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Falmouth cruise ports are equipped to handle the largest cruise ships, while picturesque Port Antonio caters to boutique cruise ships and megayachts. 

Kingston, by way of the historic Port Royal, is touted to be the site of the island’s next major cruise destination and a proposal is on the table for the development of a cruise shipping port accompanied by the revitalisation and restoration of Kingston’s downtown and harbour-front areas.

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JTB ramping up marketing to African American and Japanese tourists

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Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) board chairman, Godfrey Dyer, says the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is ramping up its marketing efforts to re-attract some of Jamaica’s former key markets particularly the African American and Japanese to the island.

Mr. Dyer, who is a former president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), told Access Jamaica that there are signs of improvement in the number of African-American market visiting the island, though not to the extent of arrivals more than a decade ago.

“The Tourist Board is working at it.  It’s not the easiest market, but they are working at it and we have started to see some movement.  Many years ago in the 70s, we used to have in summer a lot of black Americans…we need to get back to that.  Steady work is being done and give it another year or two, we will see a resurgence in that market,” Mr. Dyer said.

In mid-2016 Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett announced his intentions to go after the African American market.  At the time he said the JTB would be using social media and other promotional means to go after the 35 million strong African-American market.

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Cybersecurity must be key focus of tourism dependent nations, says Jamaican Prime Minister

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Governments of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as those in the Caribbean, must be prepared to implement measures to mitigate against Cyberattacks, which pose a big threat to tourism dependent destinations.

Holness was speaking at the speaking at the official launch of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Wednesday (January 30).     

“The safety of the destination comes down to many threats: local crime, global terrorism, the threat of war, pandemics - but one that is emerging in a serious what and to which we have to pay attention, which many Caribbean countries may not be totally prepared, is that of Cybersecurity,” Holness stated.

“The Cyberspace and the Cyber frontier is one that we have to pay very close attention to.  Because the truth is that global travel, is so much dependent on the whole business of the exchange of information.  So the data of the travelling person is vitally important.  It is vitally important to the efficient operation of the ports; vitally important for the operation and the provision of services and if that data is not protected and gets into the wrong hands or is stolen or used in nefarious ways then it could virtually cripple the industry,” the Prime Minister added.

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Caribbean should invest heavily in proper health response systems says Jamaican Prime Minister

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PHOTO CAPTION: Right to Left: Mr. Jaime Cabal, Deputy Secretary-General, UNWTO; Minister Edmund Bartlett, CD, MP, Minister of Tourism; Mr Andrew Holness, Prime Minister;  Juergen Steinmetz,CEO, eTurbo News News

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness has cautioned the Caribbean region to not take lightly its absence from a major pandemic. 

According to Holness, the Government of Jamaica is spending significant resources to ensure the country is able to respond to, and prevent diseases and health threats from morphing into pandemics, which, he says on many occasions, have had major effects on travel across the world.

“The challenge with pandemics is not that people will get sick and won’t be able to function. The real challenge is that some people will hear there is something in this region; it doesn’t even have to be in this country, there is something in (one country) and the region is avoided,” the Prime Minister said.

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Caribbean Marketing Fund in the making says St. Lucian Tourism Minister

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The establishment of a marketing fund to promote the Caribbean as a premier tourism destination, is being explored by tourism ministers in the region.

St. Lucian Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Caribbean Council of Ministers, Dominic Fedee, says he will be leading the charge, in collaboration with his Caribbean counterparts.

“So I think a major priority for the Council of Ministers now, in the short run is to make sure we put in a framework that will ensure a sustainable marketing fund for the Caribbean,” Fedee told Access Jamaica in an interview at the Caribbean Travel Marketplace Trade show at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Thursday (January 31).

“For some reason this has eluded us, for many, many years, as jurisdictions and destinations in the Caribbean.  What is important now is to make sure that we bring everyone together, that we establish ourselves as a strong Caribbean brand.  I think it is one of the strongest travel brands in the world, notwithstanding our ability to come together and in a strategic and deliberate way, ensure that we promote the Caribbean brand,” the Minister added.

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Negril Entertainment Association president bats for official entertainment venue

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Negril, Jamaica. Negril Entertainment Association (NEA) President Ryan Morrison, says even though the resort town gained prominence as a global brand partially due to a robust nightlife, characterised by live reggae music performances by some of Jamaica’s top acts, the town may lose its spirit if it does not get its own entertainment venue.

According to Morrison, many promoters of events are unable to book top flight international artistes to perform, as there is no venue in the town with the enough capacity to hold an audience large enough to make undertaking such a venture, profitable.

“We need an entertainment park, something that is very much close to the town centre, has adequate parking, bathroom facilities, all the modern amenities, but not a white elephant.  We don’t want any more buildings to lock up.  There is a part of Jamaican entertainment, the outdoors, there is nothing like it.  You can’t just talk about going to clubs; people don’t want that.  People want outdoor venues,” Morrison said.

Jamaica’s Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development, which was commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat, in 2002, also recommended the development of a venue for the performing arts, such as an amphitheatre, may well prove a viable venture in Negril.

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Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre launched in Jamaica

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Montego Bay, Jamaica. Jamaica has made history on January 30, 2019 in being the first destination to conceive and host the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre (GTRC) housed at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

The initiative is the result of one of the key deliverables of the Montego Bay Declaration from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Government of Jamaica, World Bank Group and Inter-American Development Bank conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism held November 28, 2017 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

The Hon. Prime Minister Andrew Holness was the keynote speaker at the well-anticipated event staged at the Montego Bay Convention Centre January 30, 2019. He said “of the major industries globally, arguably none faces greater exposure to disruptive forces than the hyper-connected tourism sector. The irony of the tourism industry is that the tourism sector has also displayed the uncanny ability to recover. So, there is something about tourism that is resilient. It is the most exposed but has also demonstrated the greatest ability to recover.”

Mr. Peter Greenberg, Award-winning Journalist and Travel Editor for CBS news was the Master of Ceremonies.

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TEF Chairman forecasts robust 2019 for Jamaica’s tourism arrivals

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Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Godfrey Dyer says he has high expectations that the presence of the security forces in St James will remain strong and there will be no fallout in tourist arrivals subsequent to the end of the State of Emergency in the parish.

“Bookings still look great.  And it’s going to be great,” and upbeat Dyer told Access Jamaica.  “There are a number of things that will make it great.  Great promotions, but it doesn’t matter how much you promote you need seats, you need air seats.  We have air seats, more than adequate air seats, thanks to the Jamaica Tourist Board and JAMVAC.  They have made those provisions and with willing people to come, safe destination, all the seats you require, we can only go up.”

According to Dyer, who is a veteran hotelier, and a former police officer, he had hoped the yearlong enhanced security measures in the parish which ended on January 31, would have been extended for another three or six months. 

“One year ago, Montego Bay was becoming the murder capital; one year later Montego Bay is regarded as the safest resort town.  The State of Emergency worked,” Mr. Dyer said.

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Bobi Wine Uganda Reggae Artiste Captivates Rebel Salute Audience

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St. Ann, Ocho Rios, Jamaica. During the height of Rebel Salute’s unfolding, Mutabaruka took the microphone and introduced Bobi Wine (Robert Kyagulanyi, pronounced Cha-gu-la-nyi) a young freedom fighter, reggae singer and member of parliament. He represents a New Africa Young Africa and Free Africa from Uganda. Time stood still, the audience stopped to listen with rapt attention, one eye witness said.

Mutabaruka welcomed Rebel Salute’s selection of Bobi Wine an entertainer influenced by Reggae music and veteran Jamaican artistes, to Jamaica to share his liberation message with our people.   When he took the microphone, after his preamble, he transformed the audience with a sense of empowerment and Black liberation not ever seen at any Rebel Salute show. He opened his set with a song called “Born to Sing”.  He dedicated his performance to those watching live in Africa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAJ1kzLEklc

He told the audience he came from the ghetto, he was born in Kampala, Uganda.  He chose reggae music as a liberating force and began to speak out against oppression, which attracted thousands of youth. As a result, he has been beaten, tortured and hospitalized under a government exerting 33 years of political oppression. Bobi has become a symbol of Liberation for people under oppression, inspired by the music videos of Sting and especially Rebel Salute, as well as, the music of Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica, Anthnoy B, Buju Banton, Capelton and the Reggae Warriors.

Wine performed Reggae and African Dance Hall in English and his language to an accepting audience.

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Rebel Salute wows Second generation Jamaicans from Texas

Kamione-and-Breonna-Chambers-600x400-- Kameon & Bre'onna Chambers enjoy a performance at Rebel Salute daybreak on Sunday.
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Rebel Salute proved to be a most enthralling, rich, cultural affair for third generation Jamaicans,  Kameon Chambers and his sister Brianna, so much so that the duo is not only already planning for the 2020 show, but urging their friends back in the US to attend.

The two natives of Dallas, Texas who stayed in Lucea during their trip, were on what could be described a five day whirlwind vacation which took them to numerous attractions, local eateries, beaches and other places of interest in western Jamaica.   For them, their first ever trip ever, to the land of their foreparents, has been surreal, and they have fallen deeply in love with the island and its people.    

But it was Rebel Salute that was the proverbial icing on the cake for them.  The energy, the camaraderie, the gentleness of the artistes towards their fans, the acceptance and the mellowness and the love of thousands of Jamaicans displayed all in one setting, was what, for them exemplified the beauty of the island and the true nature of its people.

“I had an amazing time at Rebel Salute.   I was thankful that I got to meet a lot of the artistes.   I really enjoyed especially being up close and personal with the artistes.  Their demeanour was very laid back and they didn’t mind taking pictures with fans and they just enjoyed people coming up to them speaking to them and wanting to take pictures with them versus back in the US, where you can’t get close to the artistes like that due to standoffishness and their security too,” Brianna told Access Jamaica.

“Nobody was pushing, shoving; no fighting.  We were out there for 12, 13 hours nothing but  good vibes all night and I enjoyed that,” the youngster added.

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Bartlett secures USD750Million in Hotel Investment and 3000 Rooms

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MADRID, Spain; January 23, 2019: Following discussions with two major Spanish Hotel chains, H10 and Princess Resorts, Minister of Tourism, Honourable Edmund Bartlett has secured USD750Million in investment. The investment will see the construction of three thousand (3000) new rooms in Jamaica by 2021.

H10 Hotels, which will construct 1000 new rooms in Trelawny at a value of approximately USD 250Million, is a hotel chain with over 55 hotels in 18 destinations. Princess Hotels and Resorts, ranked 8th in the Spanish market has 19 hotels. They will construct 2000 new rooms in Hanover, to the tune of some USD500Million.

In highlighting the significance of these agreements, which were made at FITUR in Spain, Minister Bartlett said, “The value of this investment cannot be overstated as it will transform our tourism product and allow for heavier marketing of the destination. More rooms mean more visitors and more visitors mean more foreign exchange earnings and ultimately more economic growth, which is in line with our 5x5x5 growth strategy.”

Currently Jamaica’s room stock is 32,000. As part of the Ministry’s 5x5x5 growth strategy, the aim is to have 15,000 additional rooms by 2022.

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Half Pint looking to complete work on new album...artiste says it is long overdue

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Veteran Reggae superstar Half Pint has his sights set on completing a new album hopefully by year-end, a feat he says is long overdue. 

Half Pint was speaking to Access Jamaica following his performance on night two at the 26th staging of the Rebel Salute Reggae festival on Saturday night. 

 

"I am giving nuff thanks and praise to mi fans dem and I hope they will keep with me still. One of my greatest ambition now is for them to get a new album by now and end of 2019," the singer who is known for his mega-hit Greetings, as well as the very popular classics Winsome, Level the Vibes and Mr. Landlord," told Access Jamaica.

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Global Rescue Arrives on the Island for Tourism Security Audit Review

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International tourism security expert Dr Peter Tarlow (third left) engages members of the diplomatic corps, Senior Tourism officials and Global Rescue representative in conversation following a meeting at the Ministry of Tourism's New Kingston office on January 08, 2019. Sharing in the moment are (from left) British High Commissioner to Jamaica and...
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Bartlett Committed to New Architecture for Visitor Safety and Security

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MONTEGO BAY, St. James; January 7, 2019: Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett has reiterated Jamaica's commitment to creating a new way forward and architecture as it relates to visitor safety and security. This follows a meeting with international tourism security expert, Dr. Peter Tarlow, Minister of National Security, Hon Dr. Horace Chang and s...
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The Top 5 reasons for Jamaicans to Staycation

Jackies-on-the-reef1 Jackie's on the Reef, West End Negril, Jamaica
Photo Caption: Jackie's on the Reef, West End, Negril, Jamaica. In August 2018 whilst the Jamaican Parliament was on recess, the island's Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett and his wife, Carmen, decided to embark on a Staycation, to encourage more Jamaicans to become "Staycationers" - which is essentially a fancy term for domestic tourists, or perso...
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Digital platforms and the future of Caribbean Tourism

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As travellers become even more discerning than before, it comes as no surprise that entities such as the World Bank has been documenting the way digital platforms have been impacting the way in which tourism is run from end to end. According to the World Bank, digital platforms have been disrupting the way destinations facilitate tourism, develop p...
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Caribbean is well-poised to capitalize on trillion-dollar wellness industry


  Co-organiser of the Caribbean Health & Wellness Tourism Conference and Expo, Sharon Parris-Chambers, is upbeat that the region will fully capitalise on the $4.2 trillion-dollar global wellness economy in short order. Parris-Chambers was commenting on data outlined in the most recent Global Wellness Economy Monitor, which was presented du...
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Click To Access Jamaica

Click To Access Jamaica

AccessJamaica.com is Jamaica’s premier distribution and repository channel for Jamaican products and service. The portal helps consumers find easily accessible information under one umbrella (www.AccessJamaica.com).

The portal’s chief solutions coach, Theo Chambers, launched the portal on Saturday, October 22, 2016, which is now accessible to the global marketplace. He said “AccessJamaica is a new source channel in the marketplace for Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) networking in Jamaica.”

The founder envisions a Jamaica that is computer literate and in harmony with the national vision to develop Jamaica as a place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.

In keeping with Jamaica’s push to be a leader in the Internet Technology industry, AccessJamaica.com provides the vehicle to get consumers in line with the national vision and  on par with first world nations.

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Star-Studded Weekend Set for Secrets Resorts & Spas in Jamaica

Star-Studded Weekend Set for Secrets Resorts & Spas in Jamaica

Montego Bay has in recent times become the epicenter of celebrity sightings in Jamaica, and that’s due in large measure to OCEAN Style.  The Caribbean luxury lifestyle brand having already produced three celebrity events in Jamaica this year  - Taye Diggs’ Book Signing Tour, Vivica Fox’s Birthday Celebration and High Vibes Roots & Reggae Festival featuring Rick Ross, Beenie Man and Ky-Mani Marley.  Now the tourism capital of Jamaica is gearing up to host the 9th annual OCEAN Style FashionShowcase Weekend and Celebrity Golf Tournament.

Global entertainment giant MTV will be in Jamaica as one of the many recognized entities when the weekend kicks off November 24-27, 2016.  Billed as a weekend of parties, fun, fashion and celebration, the annual event is well-known for pulling international names in fashion, having presented brands: Etro, Reem Accra, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Agent Provocateur, Victoria’s Secret and the Caribbean’s own Meiling, Anya Ayoung-Chee and Heather Jones, just to name a few. In terms of celebrity attendance, OCEAN Style has hosted over 50 celebrities including the likes of Anthony Anderson, Angela Simmonds, Vivica Fox, Lennox Lewis, Taye Diggs, Don Benjamin, Rockmond Dunbar, Nicole Murphy and Mekhi Phifer and in the process successfully established itself as the quintessential celebrity and socialite playground of the Caribbean.

Secrets Resorts & Spas will play host to the guests and a number of the events as the presenting partner for the second consecutive year. Emilio Huhn, General Manager said: "For a luxury resort like Secrets it's a very good fit. We are happy to be associated with world class events and that is what OCEAN Style delivers."

With such an enviable profile the event has in the past attracted the attention of global media giants such as BET, Centric and ESPN; each of which has celebrated the OCEAN Style experience on their respective channels.

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