PAX has been in Jamaica for more than a week now, reporting on the latest updates and news regarding the island’s tourism recovery.
The immersive trip began last week with The Travel Agent Next Door’s (TTAND) 2021 conference, “Agent ExtraordinIRIE: Actions and Tactics,” in Ocho Rios at Moon Palace Jamaica, where 165 travel advisors and 30 suppliers gathered for a week of fun and learning from Oct. 31 to Nov. 6.
At a gala dinner last Thursday night (Nov. 4), Deputy Director of Tourism for the Americas at the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Donald "Donnie" Dawson told attendees how Canada, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, produced roughly 300,000 visitors to Jamaica annually and, of that amount, more than 78 per cent of travellers booked through a travel agent.
“You are very, very important to us,” Mr. Dawson told agents. “I refer to you as sellers of travel, which you are. And the Jamaica Tourist Board supports you.”
Climbing Dunn's River Falls
After the conference wrapped up, PAX, on Friday (Nov. 5) joined a small group of TTAND staff and agents in climbing Dunn’s River Falls, a famous waterfall and tourist attraction that attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Climbing this watery wonder involved holding hands and forming a chain as our guide carefully led us up a magnificent slope of terraced rocks, which served as natural stairs, while stopping in lush lagoons along the way so we could snap pictures.
Waterproof cases and water shoes (two must-have items for this must-do experience) are sold on the park grounds, where mask wearing is practiced (during the climb, however, masks may come off).
PAX had its GoPro camera rolling the entire time and captured some of the day's fun and thrilling moments.
Watch our exclusive video from Dunn’s River Falls here!
The tour continues
PAX continues its on-location coverage in Jamaica this week as the JTB hosts a small group of journalists on an immersive trip that will include visits to resorts and attractions in Montego Bay, Falmouth, and Ocho Rios.
“We are thrilled to be hosting trade media from Canada, the U.S., Europe and Jamaica for an exciting destination update press trip this week,” said Angella Bennett, the JTB’s regional director Canada. “The group will be staying at Moon Palace in Ocho Rios and will be enjoying a variety of exciting new attractions and authentic island experiences while in the destination.”
PAX will be checking out a newly-opened section of Ocean Coral Spring resort, the completed upgrades at the Half Moon Hotel, and intimate suites and cottages at the Jamaica Inn.
Sustainable tourism will also be a key highlight this week as we visit attractions such as the 15-acre Stush in the Bush organic farm in the hills of Ocho Rios St. Ann, Mystic Mountain and Sun Valley Plantation to learn about Jamaica’s floras and faunas.
PAX will also be connecting with Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, the JTB’s Director of Tourism Donovan White and Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association President Clifton Reader later this week.
The gentlemen are expected to all share the latest updates on Jamaica’s tourism recovery.
Naturally, Bennett and JTB are excited to show off Jamaica to an eager group of writers over the next few days.
“The trip will give media a chance to reacquaint themselves with the island, meet with our tourism partners, and see Jamaica’s enhanced health and safety protocols in action,” Bennett said.
Stay tuned as PAX brings you more on-the-ground coverage from Jamaica!