Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Leads High-Level Delegation to ITB

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett will lead a strong Jamaican delegation to ITB Berlin, the world’s largest and leading travel trade show, March 5-9, 2008 in Messe, Berlin.

Completing the high-level delegation are: Carrole Guntley, Director General in the Ministry of Tourism; John Lynch, Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Jamaica Vacations (JAMVAC) and Basil Smith, Director of Tourism.

Following the staging of the historic Tourism Outlook Seminar in Kingston, which brought together key private and public sector stakeholders within the industry, the Tourism Minister is upbeat about the prospects of meeting with international tourism and travel industry players and partners, and will use the opportunity to update them on Jamaica’s tourism product.

Europe continues to be an important market for Jamaica with approximately 15 percent of stopover arrivals, second behind the United States, which accounts for 70 per cent of visitors to the island. Europeans, on average, spend longer vacation times in Jamaica than do visitors from North America.

Jamaica’s Tourism Minister has stated repeatedly that any talk of double digit growth of between 10 and 15 per cent, must involve a plan for boosting tourist arrivals from Europe. According to Minister Bartlett “Chief Salesman,” “We cannot afford to rely on the United States alone to supply the level of arrivals that we seek and Europe represents one of our best options for market diversification”.

Jamaica Tourist Board’s Regional Director in Europe, Pat Samuels, notes that this year’s show is witnessing a high level of interest in Jamaica with approximately 50 appointments being arranged between purchasers and suppliers of the island’s tourism. She points out that 18 Jamaican suppliers representing hotels, attractions and tour operators are participating in the show.

While in Berlin, Minister Bartlett and the Jamaican delegation is scheduled to meet with several European tour operators and travel agents, including representatives from emerging markets in Eastern Europe. The Tourism Minister will address journalists at a press breakfast on March 6, which is expected to have a wide cross section of representation from continental Europe.

Last year, just under 180,000 visitors attended the travel trade show which remains the leading business-to-business platform for the global tourism industry.

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