‘Rediscover Jamaica’ - Tourism players slash prices to attract locals
Jamaicans are being encouraged to taste, see, feel and enjoy the country's tourism product with the launch of 'Rediscover Jamaica' campaign by the Jamaica Tourist Board on July 22.
The campaign is aimed at getting locals to travel to and stay at local hotels this summer. It comes at a time when many properties are empty, due to significant fall-off in international travel brought about by COVID-19.
Delano Seiveright, senior advisor and communication strategist in the tourism ministry, said that the players in the hospitality secor who are part of the Rediscover Jamaica' programme all recognise the need to prioritise health and safety.
He said that summer is traditionally a time when Jamaicans take day trips, and is encouraging them to travel local and discover Jamaica this year.
"Our upcoming August holidays provide the perfect reason to enjoy our accommodations, attractions, shopping and transportation. Our partners have really solid deals available, all while following the (health) protocols," Seiveright said.
The country was forced to close down the tourism sector in March due to the threat of COVID-19, and despite a reopening on June 15, only approximately 35 per cent of the island's resorts have resumed operations.
Omar Robinson, president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, told THE STAR that the newly rebranded Rediscover Jamaica offers Jamaicans and residents of Jamaica exciting and attractive rates so they can enjoy their favourite hotels and attractions, after observing stay-at-home protocols due to COVID-19.
"These rates are deeply discounted to encourage persons to experience the variety of offerings at tourism entities that would have recently implemented health and safety protocols. Persons can feel assured that these entities are operating at the highest level of safety," he said.
One of the hotels taking part in the Rediscover Jamaica campaign is the Jakes Treasure Beach Hotel on the south coast.
"Our expectation is to get 50 per cent occupancy in the month of August and that would be good," Jason Henzell said.
"I think it is time for Jamaicans to rediscover their country and check out all the destinations here because most Jamaicans don't know the country very well. The fact that these local hotels are offering good local rates and are pushing for the local market, it is a good thing and we encourage it," the Jakes Treasure Beach chairman said.