The Jamaica Tourist Board’s (JTB) three-day all-inclusive Jamaica Travel Specialist One Love Affair getaway and celebration kicked off with a vibrant welcome reception Sunday night (Dec. 3) at the Iberostar Grand, Rosehall in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The One Love Affair incentive program has been running since 2012, recognizing and rewarding top-performing travel advisors within the Jamaica Travel Specialist program.
This tool serves as a dedicated training platform for the travel agent community to become certified experts on the destination.
In addition to learning about the island, JTB-certified agents earn valuable rewards points and gain access to exclusive perks when they record their bookings throughout the year.
At this year's kick-off reception, which PAX attended, Philip Rose, the JTB’s acting deputy director of tourism for the Americas, welcomed his regional team and fifty top-performing North American travel agents.
From Canada, 15 agents qualified for the honour, and 13 are attending this week's event in Jamaica.
“We’re here with you tonight to celebrate this fantastic accomplishment. I'm going to pause and ask my team to give a big round of applause as we celebrate and thank you, our trusted travel advisors, for all the work that you have done,” said Rose.
Here’s the list of Canadian travel pros who are in Jamaica (and being celebrated) this week (in no particular order):
- Johanne Robinson - CWT Harvey’s Travel
- Shelley Elkas – Escapes.ca
- Amanda Beaver - Glow Travel
- Sharon Boissonneault - House of Travel
- Micaela McFarquhar – Intimate Affairs & Escapes
- Tanya Smith – Niche Travel Group
- Robyn Arnold – Sell Off Vacations
- Lois Barbour - Travel Time Agency
- Sharon Lynn Loppie – TravelBug Travel (formerly Time2Travel)
- Vanessa Martinez - Unforgettable Escapes
- Kim Leduc – Voyages & Croisieres Aquamonde
- Andrea Lindsay – Your Travel Genie
- Yvonne Campbell - Yvonne’s Travel and Tours
The welcome reception started with guests posing for a photo against the Specialist One Love Affair backdrop and enjoying a welcome cocktail.
Guests then descended to the beach where a formal al fresco dining setup awaited them, with various food stations, each showcasing Jamaican dishes from jerk chicken to seafood.
The evening's entertainment included the sounds of the Higher Realm band taking the stage followed by an eye-opening performance by fire artist, Brian Storm.
The award dinner and ceremony to officially recognize top-producing Jamaica Travel Specialists is this Tuesday (Dec. 5). Canada's top-selling agent of the year will be announced at the event.
Discussing the theme for this year’s ceremony, "Roots, Rock and Reggae," Angella Bennett, JTB’s regional director Canada, said how it serves as a tribute to Jamaica's rich musical culture and history.
The theme encompasses "all our music genres of Jamaica – Rocksteady, Ska, Reggae – honouring all the great music icons with this theme," she said.
The One Love Affair event not only celebrates top-performing travel specialists, but also provides an immersive experience, allowing agents to deepen their familiarity with the island.
The all-inclusive trip offers a chance for continuous education on Jamaica, allowing participants to explore different aspects of the island through optional excursions, including farm-to-table culinary experiences to the bespoke Island Routes Catamaran adventure.
Beyond excursions, nightly events will be taking place, such as the "Lively Up Yourself" all-in-white reception at Sandals Montego Bay.
Stay tuned for updates as the celebration continues this week.
For more on the Jamaica Travel Specialist Program, go here.