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Wednesday,  June 12, 2024 11:33 PM 

JTB looks to increase MICE share for 2017

JTB looks to increase MICE share for 2017
Philip Rose, regional director – Canada, Jamaica Tourist Board; David Shields, vice-president, sales, Island Routes Caribbean Adventures; Dan Hamilton, district sales manager, Jamaica Tourist Board.
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

While there’s plenty of competition for dollars from MICE market, the Jamaica Tourist Board is prepared to draw meetings and incentive travellers in 2017 and beyond.

The board brought MICE buyers and travel partners together during a showcase of the destination’s 2017 offerings, during an intimate dinner event in downtown Toronto recently. Partners at the event included Half Moon, Iberostar, Island Routes, Jamaica Tours Limited, Melia, Moon Palace, Palladium, Royalton, Sandals and Secrets.

Philip Rose, the JTB’s regional director for Canada, told PAX that with a recent increase in hotel rooms across Jamaica and an increased focus on value-added offers, the destination is well-positioned to welcome more business from the market in the coming year.

“We wanted to break bread with Toronto MICE executives to remind them that Jamaica is open for business,” Rose said. “Our resort offering has improved and room stock has increased and we recognize the competitive landscape we are operating in. I can safely say that while we’re open for business, we’re not operating ‘business as usual.’ For 2017 and beyond we recognize that we have to work that much harder for the business and we’re ready."

While Jamaica has always seen MICE business, Rose said that part of the strategy in drawing more travellers is showcasing the destination beyond the resort and marketing offers such as team building exercises, which Rose described as “a big piece of business which we are going after aggressively.

“I’ve always said that overall, our product is the most diverse in the Caribbean,” he said. “Some of the MICE executives may think that they know exactly what Jamaica has to offer in terms of fantastic rooms, attentive staff but we’re so much more than that… we want more business out of Canada; but that’s not to say the MICE market hasn’t been good to us. We just want more.”

David Shields, vice-president of sales for Island Routes, told PAX that it’s the combination of Jamaica’s existing product offering combined with a focus on service which he feels will contribute to drawing more MICE travel to the island.

“Jamaica as a product is well-placed to engage with the travel planners and the MICE market generally,” Shields said. “What we’re focusing on is delivering on the promise and ensuring that the experience is hassle-free. There’s a level of professionalism we bring, from the moment that the group steps out of the aircraft in Jamaica, to make sure it’s a seamless experience. It’s delivering on the promise in addition to the amazing product that’s already there and ensuring that activities support the objective of the incentive market and that we can deliver and ensure that the incentive planners are happy.”