Over 200 local, regional and international delegates gathered recently in Jamaica’s tourist capital to attend and participate in the two-day tourism outlook seminar, supported by the UNWTO, held at the Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall. The theme for this year’s seminar was Challenges, Changes & Opportunities in Tourism – Rising Above the Current Global Economic Landscape.
The presentations on day two, similar to the first day, were equally informative and stimulating, with discussions on the closing day ranging from green tourism to tax and visa issues to airlift challenges.
In a lively opening session: Innovation Through Technology chaired by Ian Neita, Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the areas of maximizing the benefits of non-traditional media and the impact of technology on the bottom line were addressed by Jim Brody, International Sales Manager – Destination Marketing at TripAdvisor and Chris Dehring, Chief Marketing Officer of LIME respectively.
The issue of airlift which was one of the highly anticipated topics explored at the seminar, and the second of two panel discussions was entitled The Roadmap to Recovery: Effective Airlift. The discussion featured a panel of experts including Air Jamaica’s President and CEO Bruce Nobles; US Airways’ Manager International Route Planning Brian Council; JetBlue Airways’ Head of Sales Caribbean & Latin America Chad Meyerson; and British Airways Head of UK & Ireland Sales and Marketing Richard Tams.
Panelists were all in agreement as to the importance of airlift to tourism dependent economies with Brian Council emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between a destination and an airline. Chad Meyerson of JetBlue Airways provided his perspective from a superior service low fare carrier while Tams and Nobles, offered views from a long haul carrier and a national carrier respectively.
Jamaica’s Tourism Director John Lynch in his closing remarks commended the Ministry of Tourism and his team at the Jamaica Tourist Board for organizing another successful seminar. He thanked all the delegates for attending, the presenters for sharing their insight and knowledge and the host hotel Ritz Carlton, plus Rose Hall Resort and Iberostar for their support.