It’s now a lot easier to find tourism players that are licensed by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and have the Tourism Product Development Company Limited’s (TPDCo) COVID-19-compliant seal of approval. TPDCo has rolled out the first local tourism app, providing a list of 106 entities from all six resort areas. They fall in the categories of accommodations, attractions, bike and car rentals, tour operators, places of interest and watersports.
The app, named Xplore Jamaica was created by the organisation’s Management and Information Systems (MIS) department.
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, who brought his remarks virtually during the November 24 launch, underscored the importance of the app as the sector continues its recovery process.
“The new app by TPDCo is another win for the sector. It is timely as we work on our recovery from an unfortunate setback. However, we are now focused on the way forward and how we can return to normal times as soon as possible. I applaud TPDCo for its efforts to tap into this technological era and revolution. Gen-Z, in particular, is keen on working smart and not hard and expect to find all they need at the click of a button, and with all the necessary features available.”
TPDCo’s newly appointed Executive Director, Wade Mars, was equally elated to have this new addition to his team’s existing efforts at maintaining a high-ranking sector.
“This mobile app will not take away the value or quality of our services; instead, it will allow us to be even more responsive, and will give our guests the opportunity to connect with the destination even more,” said Mars.
“I am pleased to be part of a sector that is welcoming of change and transformation. We have taken many lessons from the pandemic and continue to implement programmes that will help us to remain resilient and responsive,” he added.
During his presentation TPDCo’s Chief Information Officer, Winston Campbell, highlighted the importance of the app’s ability to forge relationships between the entities and visitors.
“It (Xplore Jamaica) provides an opportunity for the entities to receive feedback and provide a space for direct conversations. This level of interaction will also be beneficial for the ministry of tourism and its agencies,” he said.
The new app will include features such as a travel guide with cost estimator and a complete travel blog to capture user reactions and comments. Users will also be able to view restaurants and shops near to their place of stay. The information will be available in nine languages, and user engagement in the form of reviews for feedback will prove useful for tourism entities and the sector overall.
Xplore Jamaica is currently available at no cost on Google Play and will soon appear on Apple’s app store for IOS users.