SOEs cause hiccup for tourism marketers

Last Sunday when Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the imposition of states of emergency in seven police divisions, many residents of crime-plagued communities rejoiced, saying the measure was long overdue.

However, some tourism stakeholders are not so happy about the suddenness of the action.

Chief among them is Jose Alberto Cervera, Caribbean head at TUI, one of the biggest tourism marketing groups in the world.

Cervera said the announcement has thrown up a problem for marketers who are expected to deliver on their promises.

“Word of mouth decreases confidence,” he said.

Cervera was fielding questions posed by moderator Klaus Hildebrandt, editor-in-chief of FVW, in the travel segment at ‘TravelTalk’, a German market growth strategy workshop for Jamaica held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Wednesday in collaboration with the Jamaica Tourist Board.

Hildebrandt and other stakeholders from the DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) region of Europe were in the island on a familiarisation tour.

Jamaica is the second most popular TUI destination in the Caribbean and is growing in popularity. It is one of three Caribbean countries on which TUI has banked despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Cervera said that Jamaican tourism policymakers should diversify their marketing strategies, which he believes are overly focused on serving the needs of American and Canadian visitors. This mindset must be changed, he asserted.

German tourists, he said, had interests beyond the stereotype of sun, sea, and sand, as they had an appetite for destination culture and history.

Another panellist, Kurt Diesenreither, the marketing and sales overseas travel representative at Jumbo Touristik, said German tourists like the British influence on Jamaican heritage, particularly the buildings.

Diesenreither, who is visiting Jamaica for the first time, said that tourism officials should also focus more on the country’s “amazing” people and seek to deliver sustainable local products and services.

He was supported by Christian Schutte, product manager at Caribbean Der Touristik, who said there was need for round trips to meet Jamaicans.

Source: Einnews

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