“I want to thank you all for coming because your coming makes the point that… it is ok to travel again. It’s ok to go out and have fun again, it’s ok to be happy again, it’s ok to live again,” said Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett.
He was speaking to 40 leading industry trade officials and travel agents from Germany, Austria and Switzerland who attended a recent Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) workshop with FVW Medien, Germany’s leading travel industry media group. “We are all excited about the future of humanity and with that tourism thrives, because that’s what we do, we maximise pleasure, we give joy and satisfaction and happiness to the world,” the minister added.
The one-day workshop was part of a larger week-long destination trip designed to re-engage the marketplace with the steady resumption of air services to Jamaica from Germany since the summer. The easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Germany and the addition of Jamaica to the safe list in July 2021 was a major boost to passenger load out of Europe and demonstrated a high level of confidence in the destination’s ability to deliver a safe and seamless vacation.
During their fully immersive trip, participants experienced the full range of Jamaica’s tourism product. From gastronomy, to soft adventure, to site inspections at accommodations across resort areas, these activities set the stage for the workshop dubbed Travel Talk. Led by Klaus Hilderbrandt, Editor-in-Chief, FVW Medien, the delegation along with online attendees were provided with insight into the profile of the German traveller, and how to effectively market to that audience.
Gregory Shervington, JTB’s Regional Director, Continental Europe highlighted that among the strategies being engaged to keep Jamaica top of mind, is the execution of mega familiarisation trips to the island. This he said is achieved through partnerships with key tour operators from southern, central western markets in Europe. Additionally, there is an expansion in digital consumer engagement aimed at reassuring and encouraging desire among consumers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain and Eastern Europe.
Airlift with long-time partner Condor and the recent addition of Eurowings, provide options for travelling to the island. Airlines’ representatives were on hand and gave details on service offerings and the development of additional flights should passenger demand increase.
Local tourism partners used the opportunity to reiterate the deep connection between Germany and Jamaica, providing examples of experiences that will fit the taste and desire of the German traveller.
“This being the first long-haul destination event carried out since 2019 sealed Jamaica’s lead positioning in the minds of the agents on the trip as well as the active readers of FVW Medien,” said JTB’s Shervington.
“From day one when we approached FVW Medien for the collaboration, Klaus Hilderbrandt as Editor in Chief insisted that he personally conduct the event which speaks to the weight and value of our brand. To see the delight in the eyes of the travel agents I know they are empowered to sell Jamaica because they have seen, tasted and touched the beauty of our island,” he continued.