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Seamless Reopening Of Sangster Airport To International Travellers

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MBJ Airports Limited, Shane Munroe, has credited the work of the Sangster International Airport (SIA) staff and various stakeholders in ensuring a seamless reopening of the facility on Monday (June 15).

Jamaica’s borders, which were closed on March 24 to contain local transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19), were opened for the repatriation of nationals on June 1, while international travellers were welcomed on Monday.

Mr. Munroe told JIS News that leading up to the full resumption of operations, the MBJ team worked closely with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Ministry of Tourism, and Ministry of Transport and Mining, to heighten sensitisation and communication and ensure that the safety protocols were in place, including screening and sanitisation.

“It was pretty much a collaborative effort. The Ministry of Health still has a large contingent of workers stationed here at the airport,” he noted.

The MBJ CEO said he was proud to see the level of seamlessness as it related to the processing of passengers, including health screening.

A Red Cap porter and member of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) assist passengers with their luggage, at the opening of the Sangster International Airport (SIA) to international travellers on June 15.

 

He noted that a new fever scan machine was installed by the Ministry of Health and Wellness in the arrivals area, bringing the total complement to two units.

He said that persons who have been risk assessed and deemed necessary for isolation are placed in a designated area and subsequently transported to an off-site health facility.

Mr. Munroe told JIS News that there is also an increase in the frequency of cleaning and sanitisation activities, pointing to the installation of hand-sanitising stations throughout the airport for passenger use.

He noted, further, that there are ongoing sensitisation sessions and communication with all stakeholders, including the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) and other entities operating at the airport.

“MBJ facilitates communication between the Ministry of Health and airline stakeholders to clarify new requirements and emerging travel restrictions,” Mr. Munroe said.

“MBJ has encouraged all entities operating at the airport to retrain their respective staff members on communicable disease prevention and to disseminate information on COVID-19 prevention,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Munroe said the airport staff, inclusive of management, are “generally happy and excited to be back…. You could see that in their actions on their first day back… the Red Cap porters, our security guards… our maintenance crew…all levels of workers were just happy to be back working”.

Source JIS

Leadership Conversations

A Sector-Specific Mechanism To identify And Develop New Tourism Businesses And New Tourism Ideas.

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With the onslaught of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Tourism, has been strategizing the recovery of Jamaica’s tourism industry. The goal of this recovery, however, is not to resume the traditional way of doing business, but to use this opportunity to re-imagine and re-invent our tourism product and value chains.

By doing so, we have championed the Blue Ocean Strategy as the theoretical underpinning of this plan of action. This strategy can be defined as the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open new market spaces and create new demand. It is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby rendering competition irrelevant.

It is based on the view that market boundaries and industry structure are not set in cement and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players. To implement a Blue Ocean Strategy, we must re-evaluate the premises that inform our understanding of the industry’s assumptions and shape new business models. We must re-evaluate our understanding of the tourism industry, re-assess what we think our customers need and what we offer them. The goal is to expand the value chain and identify completely new products and markets.

To that end the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) is tasked with establishing a sector-specific, mechanism to support the identification and development of new tourism businesses and new tourism ideas. We are moving to establish the TEF’s Tourism Innovation Incubator.

This Tourism Innovation Incubator is a business development centre for individuals or entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas that can impact the tourism sector. This Incubator will provide a unique and highly flexible combination of services, including business support services, infrastructure; this Incubator will also nurture these entrepreneurs and support them through early stages of development and execution.

I look forward to the successful establishment of this key initiative and the impact that it will have on the future of our local tourism industry.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett

Click for more information on the Tourism Innovation Incubator

BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open up a new market space and create new demand. It is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby making the competition irrelevant. It is based on the view that market boundaries and industry structure are not a given and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players.

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Technology

The Silicon Mountain Project Partners With Walkbout Caribbean To Help And Empower MSME Tourism Entrepreneurs

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Travel, tours, experience and accommodation entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to gain access to critical resources through the recently established partnership between the Silicon Mountain Project and Walkbout Caribbean’s “Walkbout Ignite Programme” designed to help and empower tourism entrepreneurs maximise their presence on the walkbout.com platform.

The Walkbout Ignite Programme brings together industry leaders and experts to support tourism related entrepreneurs and related groups, empowering them to grow their businesses. Running year round, the Programme includes the launch and promotion of participants’ products and services on the Walkbout.com Marketplaces, access to monthly workshops hosted by industry leaders, networking events, and one-on-one capacity-building sessions with Partner Marketing, Private Label, Branding, Business Insights, Advertising, Merchandising and Supply Chain teams, while providing them with impactful tools and resources to help support and grow their businesses.

At Walkbout.com we are supporting MSME Tourism entrepreneurs and related small businesses as we know firsthand the challenges of building a business from the ground up.

For more information on The Silicon Mountain Project CLICK THIS LINK

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Travel and Lifestyle

Jamaica’s Tourism Earnings Expected To Exceed US$4 Billion This Year

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Jamaica’s tourism earnings are expected to be “significantly higher” this year, exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels, says Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.

“We are looking now at earning in excess of US$4 billion this year, which would exceed 2019 figures by US$500 million to US$600 million,” he noted.

He said that visitor arrivals, including from cruise, are projected to be above three million, which is similar to 2019 figures.

“So, all in all, tourism is looking good,” the Minster said.

“We are making sure that the industry is [playing] its key growth role in the wider Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth arrangement,” he said, noting that priority is also being placed on ensuring that the sector is more inclusive, and provides for the well-being of Jamaica as a whole.

The Minister was speaking at a recent Think Tank at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) head office in Kingston.

Director of Tourism, Donovan White, who also addressed the session, noted that visitors are staying longer in the destination, being more immersive and are spending more.

“In 2019, our average length of stay would have been somewhere around 6.9 nights. In 2022, we are just over eight nights per visitor,” said Mr. White, adding that the average daily rate in 2019 was approximately US $168 per person, per day while in 2022, the rate is US $180 per person, per day.

He noted that during the extended stay, visitors are going to more restaurants, bars, parties, events and are buying more craft and taking more tours.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism will observe Tourism Awareness Week from September 25 to October 1, under the theme: ‘Rethinking Tourism’.

A series of activities have been organised to include a church service and the virtual Edmund Bartlett lecture series on Sunday, September 25; the ‘Style Jamaica’ runway show on Monday, September 26; a tourism opportunities visionary symposium on Tuesday, September 27; a youth forum on Wednesday, September 28; a special virtual knowledge forum on Thursday, September 29; the official launch of the innovation-based tourism incubator on Friday, September 30; school speaking engagements from Monday, September 26 to Friday, September 30; a tourism stakeholder engagement activity and a youth poster competition.

 

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Travel and Lifestyle

Jamaica Attractive Destination for Luxury Vacation Seekers – Tourism Director

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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

2023 Will Be A Great Comeback Year For The Country’s Hospitality Sector….Edmund Bartlett

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Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says there is every indication that 2023 will be a great comeback year for the country’s hospitality sector, where both earnings and arrivals are expected to exceed pre COVID-19 levels.

The Minister, who was speaking at the World Travel Awards Caribbean and Americas ceremony, at Sandals Montego Bay, on August 31, said that as it stands, tourism earnings (over the same corresponding period) have already exceeded 2019, while arrivals are just a trifle behind.

“Based on the trajectory, we have every reason to believe that 2023 will be an unbelievable year for tourism,” the Minister noted.

“We have recovered faster than anybody could have imagined, and for this I must commend the team at the Ministry of Tourism and also all of our international partners,” he added.

The Minister also noted that the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) saw a jump in earnings from April to July, pulling in more than $2.4 billion over the period, and representing a 20 per cent increase when compared to pre-COVID-19 earnings.

Mr. Bartlett said that not only was the destination close to full recovery but that Jamaica continues to strengthen its resilience and remains on par with rival competitors – the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

“Without a doubt, our recovery numbers are the best in the English-speaking Caribbean,” he pointed out.

“We are also a model for many tourism-dependent countries, many of whom have patterned their recovery programmes off what we have managed to do here in Jamaica,” the Minister added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bartlett said it was with great pride and honour that Jamaica hosted the World Travel Awards, noting that it speaks volume as to how well “recognised and respected” the destination has become in tourism circles.

Several of the island’s hoteliers, attraction operators, villas and transportation companies received top awards at the ceremony.

Jamaica won the awards for the Caribbean’s leading destination, leading cruise destination, and leading Tourist Board.

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