Large online travel agency sets up MoBay call centre

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter MONTEGO BAY, St James

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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Bookit.com, the largest privately held online travel agency in North America, has set up a call centre at the freezone in Montego Bay.


About a month ago, the online travel company set up shop at the Teleperformance Centre in Montego Bay with 50 agents.


concurred with the tourism minister.


"We are starting with 50 people as we speak right now which will double in the next two or three weeks and probably double again with the success of this venture," Bookit.com founder and CEO Bud Finlaw told the Business Observer. "We are going to be celebrating our 10th anniversary in the year 2014 and part of our growth is to expand and we chose Jamaica as the place to open up our new call centre.


"We looked to quite a few places. Jamaica was one of many choices that we had but when the decision time came we found out that really we had our heart here."


He said he was impressed with the Jamaican recruits.


"It's pretty amazing we have only been open in Jamaica for about three to four weeks ...and part of that of course is training and in just a few hours on the phone for the first couple of weeks," said the the Bookit.com executive. "But as we listened to the calls they are very professional they sound like people who have been with us for many years. And it comes across extremely well."


Mike Evans, executive VP Client Services at Teleperformance welcomed the American company.


"Bookit.com has place a lot of trust in our hands and I am confident our team in Jamaica will exceed those expectations," he said.


The US-based online travel company has been booking Jamaica as a destination for years was a partner with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) -- it is the platform for VisitJamaica.com, the JTB's website.


But Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr Wykeham McNeill sees another benefit from the recent opening of the call centre in Montego Bay.


"They are going to employ about 200 people in the short term. Its good for Jamaica, it's going to have Jamaicans on the call centres.," he said. "The positive of that also is that when they are answering the phone they will be speaking about Jamaica with passion, they will speak about Jamaica with a knowledge of what is Jamaica, while being able to do the rest of the world."




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