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Jamaica Attractive Destination for Luxury Vacation Seekers – Tourism Director



Jamaica is “well-positioned as an attractive destination” for luxury vacation seekers, says Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board, Donovan White.

Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, on September 12, Mr. White explained that the Jamaican spirit and culture is “endearing” to visitors.

“It is our music, our food, our culture, our entertainment. It’s endearing for Jamaica to own the fastest man ever and the fastest woman in the world and so many other superstars, Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Miss Lou. It makes people curious; whether you are affluent or not, you are curious about this little place that you hear everybody talking about,” Mr. White said.

He argued that these are among the attributes that make Jamaica an attractive destination “for just about everybody of all types, kinds and affluence.”

Mr. White said the country’s earnings have grown over the last few years, as a result of visitors staying longer and spending more money in the island.

Between 2019 and 2022, the average length of visitor stay moved from around 6.9 nights to just over 8 nights and the average daily rate increased from US$168 to US$180 per person, per day.

Mr. White explained that Jamaica’s allure, particularly to more affluent visitors, is not a new phenomenon, as the country has been attracting “stars.”

“From as far back as 1955, 1960, 1965, the destination has always been an allure to the Hollywood stars. There have been several sightings of not just movie stars but also designers who own properties in Jamaica and who come three, four times a year and bring their friends and family with them,” he noted.

He added that Jamaica is the “heartbeat of the world [and] people want to experience what that means [and] what that represents for their tastes, preferences and affluence.”

To capitalise on this, the Ministry of Tourism will launch its Innovation-based Tourism Incubator on September 30 during Tourism Awareness Week. The Incubator is geared towards generating innovative ideas to create new or different experiences for visitors to the island.

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Businessuite News24

Business Travel Tourism on the Rise In Jamaica



Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board, Donovan White, says Jamaica is experiencing a surge in business travel, which is on its way back to pre-COVID levels.

He informed that the country’s meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) sector is on the rise.

MICE tourism refers to business-related events that are planned, and professionals from the related sector are brought together in a hospitality setting.

Speaking at the Caribbean Meeting and Incentive Travel Exchange (CMITE) Breakfast held at the Secrets Wild Orchid Resort in Montego Bay, St. James, on Tuesday (August 22), Mr. White noted that “business is back, and in-person events are once again being well attended”.

“We here in Jamaica could not be more pleased, as group business has long been a key component of our strategy for the development and growth of the island’s tourism product,” he stated.

The Director of Tourism pointed out that while MICE travel is not measured by percentages due to the varied sizes of the groups and the dynamic nature of meetings, tourism stakeholders have been reporting bookings for large groups, several months ahead of time.

“All our partners are beginning to report that they are [seeing] in their reservations, six months, 12 months, and 18 months ahead for large groups coming back to Jamaica, and that is an extremely good sign for our forecasting ability of arrivals to the destination,” he stated.

The CMITE meetings, which were hosted by wellness brand Questex on the island, connects North American meeting planners and incentive buyers with leading Caribbean and Mexico-based suppliers to foster meaningful industry relationships.

While noting that the island is pleased to have been chosen to host CMITE for the third time, Mr. White outlined that Jamaica has put in the work to ensure that it could once again host meetings of this nature.

“It’s the kind of market that’s built on a lot of sensitivity, so we’ve worked very hard over the last two and a half to three years since COVID, to rebuild Jamaica’s appetite for business travel, meetings, and conventions,” he pointed out.

“Our hotels have adequate meeting spaces, and our partners who are interested in this segment of the market have ensured that their hotels have the necessary facilities to accommodate small, medium, and even 600-person groups,” he added.

The objective of the CMITE series of meetings is to promote Jamaica as a warm-weather destination of choice with the personnel, infrastructure, and strong cultural appeal that will result in reservations for meeting and incentive groups.

More than 40 buyers and planners are participating in the meetings, which are being held from August 21 to 24.


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Businessuite News24

Adoption of Blue Ocean Strategy Can Revolutionise Tourism Sector…..Edmund Bartlett.



Adoption of the Blue Ocean Strategy has the potential to revolutionise Jamaica’s tourism industry in ways that will differentiate the island from its regional competitors, says Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.

He said that implementation of the strategy will not only stimulate economic growth by attracting new investments and increasing visitor spending but will, in turn, create employment opportunities across various sectors.

The Minister was speaking at the graduation ceremony for the Central Jamaica Social Development Initiative (CJSDI) North West Manchester Youth Entrepreneurship Training, at the Tropics View Hotel, Hatfield, Manchester, on August 17.

The Blue Ocean Strategy, developed by Professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, suggests that businesses can achieve remarkable success by identifying and capturing untapped market spaces, termed ‘blue oceans’.

“By creating unique and differentiated offerings, Jamaica can stand out in a crowded global market. This will attract travellers seeking novel experiences and position the country as a premier destination for sustainable tourism,”

These blue oceans represent areas where competition is low or nonexistent, allowing businesses to create and capture new demand by focusing on differentiation and innovation rather than competing in overcrowded market spaces.

These organisations can secure long-term growth and profitability.

“By creating unique and differentiated offerings, Jamaica can stand out in a crowded global market. This will attract travellers seeking novel experiences and position the country as a premier destination for sustainable tourism,” the Minister told graduates, parents and other stakeholders.

“By emphasising Jamaica’s cultural heritage and promoting community involvement, the strategy will help preserve and celebrate the island’s rich traditions while providing authentic experiences for visitors,” he added.

Mr. Bartlett said that by targeting new customer segments, the Ministry aims to identify untapped markets, such as adventure tourism, wellness tourism, and eco-tourism, to attract a diverse range of travellers with varied interests, noting that by catering to niche segments and developing tailored experiences, Jamaica can meet the evolving demands of modern travellers.

He said that by pursuing strategic partnerships, the Tourism Ministry also plans to foster collaborations between the public and private sectors, local communities and international stakeholders.

These partnerships, he said, will enable Jamaica to leverage expertise, resources, and investments to drive innovation and support sustainable development initiatives.

Mr. Bartlett added that future trajectory would support the Government’s aim to break away from traditional tourism approaches and create untapped market spaces, allowing the country to thrive in an era of increased global competition.

“This bold move will generate significant excitement and anticipation within the industry, as experts recognise the potential for Jamaica to become a global leader in sustainable tourism,” he said.

“By implementing eco-friendly practices, protecting natural resources, and supporting local communities, the country can differentiate itself and attract conscious travellers seeking responsible and ethical experiences,” the Minister added.

Forty youth entrepreneurs from across Manchester who have been trained in the principles of effective business operation since April 2023 graduated from the CJSDI Entrepreneurship Training Programme.

The programme’s main aim is to provide the graduates with the skills to transform fledgling businesses into successful entities that meet global standards and give graduates small grant funding to support their entrepreneurial goals.

The training was conducted in partnership with other public agencies, such as the HEART/NSTA Trust, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) and the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ).

By: , JIS

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Businessuite News24

Tourism Ministry to Conduct Economic Impact Study on Proposed Hotel Room Developments



A Tourism Economic Impact Study is to be conducted to identify the economic, fiscal, social and environmental impact of the development of an additional 15,000 to 20,000 hotel rooms to augment Jamaica’s existing stock.

This exercise will be spearheaded by the Ministry of Tourism, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, announced as he closed the 2023/24 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 20).

He said the study’s objectives are to identify and evaluate the potential impact of the proposed developments on gross domestic product (GDP); foreign exchange earnings; investment; government revenue and expenditure; income and employment (direct and indirect); and key related sectors such as agriculture, construction, manufacturing and entertainment.

The study is also intended to identify and evaluate the potential impact of the proposed developments on infrastructure needs; the environment; and individuals (particularly in relation to housing, transport, and recreation); and provide recommendations to mitigate potential negative impacts while capitalising on positive effects, as well as a credible, rigorous evidence base to inform public awareness of the value of the tourism industry to Jamaica.

“This is the most substantial increase in room stock over the shortest period of time in Jamaica’s history. It represents a uniquely transformative moment. We must seize the moment to obtain the maximum social and economic benefit,” Mr. Bartlett said.

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Travel and Lifestyle

Several Hotel and Port Investments Slated for the Greater Falmouth Jamaica Area



Investments in hotel infrastructure totalling some US$625 million is expected to be made in the greater Falmouth area of Trelawny, for the construction of three new properties and one expansion over the next few years.

Speaking at the Friends of Falmouth symposium held at the Major Owens Wellness Centre in Brooklyn New York, on May 26, Consul General to New York, Alsion Wilson said, Trelawny currently has approximately six large hotels and a total capacity of 3,906 beds.

“These exciting additions, including establishments like Harmony Cove with 1,000 rooms, Planet Hollywood Royalton with 650 rooms, RIU Aquarelle with 753 rooms, and Excellence Oyster Bay with 50 new rooms, will bring the total number of hotel rooms in the Trelawny area to an impressive 3,700,” Mrs. Wilson said.

She noted that the historic town is expected to benefit from renewed investments in near-port activities, aimed at fostering greater integration between the town and the port.

“These initiatives are designed to enhance the overall attractiveness of Falmouth to both cruise and land-based visitors, ensuring a vibrant and engaging experience for all,” the Consul General stated.

Consul General to New York, Alsion Wilson (right), welcomes His Worship the Mayor of Falmouth, Colin Gager to the City of New York, at the Friends Falmouth symposium, held at the Major Owens Wellness Centre in Brooklyn New York, on May 27.

Mrs. Wilson also informed that Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) is committed to repositioning the historic Falmouth port, to leverage the current boom in the fiercely competitive global cruise market.

“This involves significant investments in new projects and infrastructure. One notable undertaking is the development of a new township on 50 acres of reclaimed land adjacent to the port. This environmentally friendly and people-focused township will complement the town’s existing Georgian origins, while embracing a modern vision,” she stated.

“The socio-economic benefits brought about by the port’s establishment, have been truly remarkable. Over the past ten years, the port has welcomed around seven million passengers, averaging approximately 550,000 passengers annually, excluding the challenging years of 2020 and 2021 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Such numbers signify the immense potential of the Falmouth port as a catalyst for economic growth and development in the region,” the Consul General added.

According to the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Annual Travel Sta-tis-tics, the average spends per cruise passenger increased from US$71 in 2011 to US$100 in 2020.

Mrs. Wilson said this upward trend reflects the growing attractiveness of Falmouth as a destination, and highlights the economic benefits experienced by local businesses and entrepreneurs.

She urged members of the Trelawny Diaspora to “unite to lobby for the preservation of this historical town, collaborating with citizens and city officials alike to ensure that the essence of Falmouth remains intact”.

“By doing so, we can guarantee that future generations will have the opportunity to explore and appreciate the remarkable cultural heritage that Falmouth offers,” the Consul General said.

She also urged the Friends of Falmouth Symposium to look at, among other things, how to ensure the parish of Trelawny can benefit and continue its economic climb.

“I implore you to identify avenues for linkages between farmers and the growing hotel sector. Ensure that residents are trained to take advantage of new employment opportunities at all levels and not just low skilled jobs. You who are from Falmouth have a duty to ensure that you get involved,” Mrs. Wilson said.

The Friends of Falmouth symposium and brunch was held as part of the annual Trelawny reunion weekend.

To compliment the symposium and brunch, Friends of Falmouth also launched a mega fundraising raffle in aid of the Falmouth Infant School, for which the grand prize is a seven-night stay for two, at the all-inclusive Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort and Spa.

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Businessuite Markets

We had a strong start to 2023. In Q1, Nights and Experiences Booked hit a record high with over 120 million….Chesky



Airbnb, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABNB) Chief Executive Officer, Brian Chesky, has released the following Q1 2023 Shareholder Letter (edited)

Revenue of $1.8 billion grew 20% year-over-year (24% ex-FX). Net income was $117 million—our first profitable Q1 on a GAAP basis. Adjusted EBITDA was $262 million while Free Cash Flow was $1.6 billion, growing 32% year-over-year. We are now twice the size as we were before the pandemic on both a GBV and revenue basis—and with considerably higher profitability and cash flow.

Looking ahead, we remain focused on our three strategic priorities:

• Make hosting mainstream. Traveling on Airbnb is mainstream. We want hosting to be just as popular. To achieve this, we are raising awareness around hosting, making it easier to get started, and providing even better tools for Hosts. We have seen great results from our efforts. In every quarter over the last two years since we went public, we’ve seen acceleration in the year-over-year growth of our total active listings (excluding China). In Q1, total active listings grew 18% compared to the same prior year period, up from 16% in Q4 2022.

• Perfect the core service. We want people to love our service, and that means obsessing over every detail. Millions of people have given us feedback on how to improve Airbnb. Recently, we’ve received a lot of input about rising prices. In today’s economic environment, it’s more important than ever to provide affordable stays for guests. We’ve listened. Last week, we introduced over 50 new features and upgrades as part of our 2023 Summer Release—including Airbnb Rooms, an all-new take on the original Airbnb, improved pricing tools, transparent checkout instructions, and more.

• Expand beyond the core. We have some big ideas for where to take Airbnb next. This year, we’re building the foundation for new products and services that we plan to launch in 2024 and beyond. At the same time, while Airbnb is in over 220 countries and regions, we’re still under-penetrated in many markets. As a result, we’ve increased our focus and investments in less mature international markets and are seeing great results. Due to these efforts, Brazil and Germany have become two of our fastest growing markets and we’re excited to expand the playbook around the world.

Q1 2023 Financial Results
Here is a snapshot of our Q1 2023 results:

• Q1 revenue of $1.8 billion was our highest first quarter ever. Revenue grew 20% year-overyear (24% ex-FX) driven by solid growth in Nights and Experiences Booked and stable Average Daily Rates (“ADR”).

• Q1 net income of $117 million was our first profitable Q1. Net income was $117 million in Q1 2023 compared to a net loss of $19 million in Q1 2022. This increase was primarily due to our revenue growth, expense discipline and interest income. In Q1 2023, we delivered a net income margin of positive 6%, up from negative 1% in Q1 2022.

• Q1 Adjusted EBITDA of $262 million was a record first quarter. Adjusted EBITDA in Q1 2023 increased 14% compared to $229 million in Q1 2022. This improvement in Adjusted EBITDA demonstrates the continued strength of our business and discipline in managing our cost structure. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 14% for Q1 2023, relatively stable from 15% in Q1 2022.

• Q1 Free Cash Flow of $1.6 billion was our highest ever. Q1 2023 net cash provided by operating activities was $1.6 billion, up from $1.2 billion in Q1 2022. The increase in cash flow was driven by revenue and bookings growth as well as net margin expansion. Our TTM FCF was $3.8 billion, representing a FCF margin of 44%.2

Our TTM Free Cash Flow generation enabled us to repurchase $2 billion of our common stock over the same time period. In total, our share repurchases since the start of our buyback program in August 2022 have helped to reduce our fully diluted share count from 706 million in Q1 2022 to 697 million at the end of Q1 2023. We’re announcing today that our Board of Directors approved a new share repurchase authorization of up to $2.5 billion of our Class A common stock.

Business Highlights
Our strong quarter was driven by a number of positive business trends:

• More guests are traveling on Airbnb than ever before. Nights and Experiences Booked grew 19% in Q1 2023 compared to a year ago. Even with continued macroeconomic uncertainties, we have seen our highest number of active bookers, demonstrating both loyalty from our returning guests and a growing base of first-time bookers. Our current backlog of nights is approximately 25% stronger than a year ago.

• Guests are traveling overseas and returning to cities. Cross-border nights booked grew by 36% in Q1 2023 compared to a year ago. We were particularly encouraged by the continued recovery of Asia Pacific as nights booked in Q1 2023 increased over 40% year-over-year. We saw international travel from other regions to Asia Pacific increase 160% during the quarter compared to Q1 2022. In addition, cross-border nights booked to North America increased on a sequential basis, with 34% year-over-year growth in Q1 2023 relative to 31% a quarter ago. Cross-border nights booked to North America also increased on a sequential basis, with 34% year-over-year growth in Q1 2023 relative to 31% a quarter ago.

In addition to the strong cross-border growth, we saw more guests return to cities. High-density urban nights booked increased by 20% in Q1 2023 compared to the same prior year period.

• Guests are continuing to use Airbnb for longer stays. Nights from long-term stays (28 nights or longer) were 18% of total gross nights booked in Q1 2023. Over the past three years, we’ve seen new use cases emerge as guests across all regions and age groups use Airbnb for long-term stays.

• Supply growth continued to accelerate. We grew supply 18% compared to Q1 2022.3 We observed double-digit supply growth across all regions and market types, with the fastest growth in North America and Latin America. Urban and non-urban supply also grew 18% year-over-year.

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