Business

Top Events Jamaica connecting visitors with local fun

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

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THE Tourism Linkages Network (TLN), organisers of the Top Events Jamaica initiative, are reporting high levels of interest among tourism industry players for the programme.

The initiative, which was officially launched on April 17, is designed to promote Jamaica's best events in sports, entertainment, health and wellness, shopping, food, and conferences.

Visitor participation in events and activities islandwide is expected to increase through strategic partnerships and leveraging, the power of technology, social media and advertising, and to facilitate this new development, Top Events Jamaica includes an easy to use website and user-friendly mobile app to increase visitor awareness and participation in the many events held in Jamaica each month.

The initiative engages all levels of stakeholders within the local tourism industry, regardless of size, in order to both expand the industry as well as ensure maximum inclusivity. Participating stakeholders include event promoters, hoteliers, airports, local attractions, transportation providers, restaurants, Airbnb hosts, as well as tour operators.

To be certified as a 'Top Event', interested parties must complete the application form available at www.topeventsinjamaica.com, upload a promotional flyer (JPEG & layered design file), high-resolution images from the last staging of the event (2-4 pictures), as well as promotional videos, and a video message explaining why the event should be listed.

Applicants should also include two to three sentences about the event, which can be uploaded to the Top Events webpage and provide four (4) complimentary tickets for press and social media giveaways.

The Ministry of Tourism, through its TLN, launched the Top Events Jamaica initiative earlier this year — designed to increase visitor participation in local events and activities, islandwide.

“We recognise that entertainment forms a large part of why people travel, and as such there is value in building out more products of this nature to drive arrivals and growth in the sector. This is why we established the Sports and Entertainment Network under the Linkages Network to help diversify our tourism product,” says Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.

According to Kamal Bankay, who heads the tourism ministry's Sports and Entertainment Network, the platform can help increase the number of visitors participating in local events from 100,000 to one million. However, of the historic 4.32 million visitors that arrived on the island last year, he admitted that only 100,000 attended over 15,000 local events last year.

“Our goal is to move this 100,000 attendees by tourists to one million. It's an ambitious number, but think about the growth and development of all sectors listed here today would have, if we move from 2.5 per cent, up to 25 per cent,” he said.

“Top Events will place all our best entertainment products and offerings under one roof. In doing so, we are allowing visitors and locals alike the chance to find these offerings with the click of a button. Top Events will be a critical element that brings together our authentic Jamaican entertainment products under one roof through the use of technology,” Bartlett said.

“This type of interface is critical in the age of technology, especially given that entertainment forms a large part of why people travel and as such there is value in building out more products of this nature to drive arrivals and growth in the sector,” he continued.

According to the tourism ministry, the Top Events initiative will include a microsite and an easy to use mobile app to increase visitor awareness and participation in the over 900 events held in Jamaica each month.

The TLN's Sports and Entertainment Network will be the driving force behind Top Events Jamaica and the body ultimately responsible for the final selection of “Top Events” to be added to the event calendar.


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