Bartlett Calls For More Exiciting Marketing Tools

No. 50 Friday, February 05, 2010
Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett has challenged players in the tourism industry across the Caribbean to start making new and exciting plans to market their respective countries.
   According to the Minister, for too long countries in the region have been marketed to a set plan and the time has come for new thinking to be put into selling tourism.
   Addressing the 3rd annual Caribbean Outlook Seminar at the Ritz Carlton in Montego Bay on Monday, Minister Bartlett said travelers today need have become more discerning and the “sellers” must move to match those needs. The Tourism Minister said “as part of the new effort, players in the industry must seek new market, put new and exciting plans in place to attract visitors from these areas and step up to the use of new technology, new methods of enabling efficiency and new ways of satisfying the demands of a diverse market.”
   Minister Bartlett said “the Caribbean is “ripe” for new foreign investments to strengthen the drive to provide the experiences which the market desire. There is a need for new partnerships to be formed in bringing groups together and to benefit from the fusion of ideas to solve challenges as they emerge. We all need new business models, new methods of organizing commerce and new ways of ensuring that the operations are cost effective and that we can give greater value at affordable prices to the consumers”.
   With the top brass of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourist Association, CHTA in attendance, Minister Bartlett tourism can have its right place in the scheme of things and the configuration of the economic structure. Jamaica he said have been struggling to communicate the positive impact of tourism on the economy and to get the kind of positioning of tourism in the nation’s account in relation to contributions to Gross Domestic product, GDP
   Turning to Jamaica’s performance in the tourism Marketplace over the last two and a half years, Minister Bartlett said “since being appointed Tourism Minister in 2007,1 have been advocating for us to start thinking, not out of the box, not even around the box, but to throw away the box and think creatively and wisely”.
   He said “based on the efforts made over the past 2 and a half years and especially during the current recession, Jamaica has been holding its own in the marketplace. I believe that if we are serious about growth, even in a recession, we can achieve it. Despite our key markets, the United States and the United Kingdom contracting by 20% in travel, Jamaica was able to record at the end of 2009 a 3-point 6% increase in visitor arrivals. This is a record 1,831,000 stop over arrivals... the largest in our history.”
   Looking at the matter of earnings from the tourism industry, Minister Bartlett said “While that was a challenge, Jamaica was able to end the year at point 9 of a percent below the earnings of 2008 which was US$1.976B compared to US$1.975B. Visitor arrivals from the US grew by 2%, Germany showed an almost 7% and from Canada we recorded a whopping 23% growth and from the UK, visitor arrivals from that area dropped by only 2%”.
   The two day Caribbean Outlook Seminar was staged under the theme: “Changes, challenges and opportunities in tourism...rising above the current global economic landscape.”

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