First Look

Olympics Promotional Activities an Overwhelming Success-Minister McNeill

Ministry of Tourism | 2012-08-21 10:21:00

Tourism and Entertainment Minister, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill has termed the island’s promotional activities for the London 2012 Olympics, a resounding success. Minister McNeill today outlined key successes of the initiative as he addressed members of the media at a press briefing which was held jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

The Minister pointed out that “Jamaica House” in the Millennium Dome in London, popularly known as O2 and the activities within it formed part of a marketing strategy to capitalize on the exposure that brand Jamaica obtained during the London Olympics. He said “our promotional activities in London 2012 have been extraordinarily successful. This opinion is shared by British Member of Parliament, Diane Abbott and a wide variety of officials and media houses. The media exposure and positive publicity generated through these activities represent excellent value for money. UK media coverage of Jamaica House at O2 generated millions of viewers and readers worldwide.”

Minister McNeill outlined that many productive discussions were held with business interests at Jamaica House, including the head of Virgin Holidays, Amanda Wills and TUI’s Managing Director for the UK and Ireland, David Burling. He said, “those two in particular proved very fruitful indeed. And as such I am pleased now to announce that Virgin Holidays confirmed another flight from Gatwick to Montego Bay which represents 25,000 new seats for next year. And TUI finalized an extra fortnightly flight for the winter to Montego Bay and weekly flights in the summer from Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham. This will add 11,000 new seats. Of note is that two of these three gateways have a large Diaspora population.”

Other successes of Jamaica House include the facilitation of face to face contact and interaction with some 18,000 visitors to the venue, and a peak in interest in Jamaica during the games. This interest was of such a magnitude that Skyscanner, a leading flight aggregating website, reported a 53% increase in enquiries about travel to Jamaica during the period of the O2 promotions. Over 300 travel agents and tour operators were also brought in during Jamaica House promotions.

In terms of plans for the future Minister McNeill stressed that “we will continue to leverage the outstanding performance of our athletes at the London Olympics in promoting the destination. Already plans are in place for our advertisement featuring Usain Bolt to be used in an on-line campaign for the UK market. Interest in Jamaica continues to grow globally and we have invited 1,500 travel agents to visit Jamaica in five rotations starting September 6.”

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