New tourism channel next month
A new television channel, said to be the island's first with a full focus on tourism, is scheduled to be launched next month.
According to Inspire Media Ltd founder Kimani Robinson, the Jamaica Travel Channel (JTC) will be available in approximately 25,000 hotel rooms across the island.
Robinson, in a news release this week, said the JTC will showcase video content from all stakeholders in the tourism industry, exhibit much of what Jamaica has to offer and enable visitors to discover all they will be able to experience while visiting the island.
"The channel will showcase the sights, sounds, tastes and joys of Jamaica and entice these visitors to indulge deeper into our offerings and to increase spend within the industry," Robinson said.
He added that the JTC, which has a major partnership with Flow, "will also be broadcast in approximately 50 per cent of all local cable homes, catering to the tens of thousands of locals who vacation annually, as well as the hundreds of thousands employed to the tourism industry".
Robinson said that the channel will also be streamed on the Internet, enabling visitors to view stakeholders' infomercials and other JTC-produced content, as well as discover the island before they arrive or on their phones while they are here.
"We are extremely happy to work with them on this project," said Michael Look Tong, director, media services at Flow. "We think this initiative will play a part in further developing the tourism industry, a sector that is very important to us and Jamaica as a whole."
In his release, Robinson said the channel has been endorsed by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA).
"Finally, tourists all across the island can now wake up in bed, turn on the television set and within 15 to 20 minutes gather enough detailed information to plan their daily activities," said Robinson.
Tourism and Entertainment Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill welcomed the channel, saying it "gives us a centralised way to speak to visitors once they are on the island. It also allows us to better showcase the diversity of our tourism product by displaying elements of Jamaica and entities that don't necessarily have the capacity to showcase themselves by advertising directly to our visitors".
Nicola Madden-Greig, the JHTA president, also praised the initiative. "The JTC falls perfectly into our mandate and will fill a wide gap in terms of how we communicate and are able to position our product to the tourist market. We intend to utilise this platform and have already been in dialogue with the JTC to find ways of ensuring that we as an industry reap the benefits that can be generated from this platform," she said at a working meeting on July 22 hosted by Minister McNeill at the ministry.
Robinson said, "If the channel can encourage 5,000 persons a day (just about 10 per cent of its potential daily viewers) to go out and spend an incremental US$100 a day with any of our industry suppliers, it would have single-handedly created an additional US$500,000 a day within the economy."
Inspire Media Ltd founder Kimani Robinson (right) is greeted by Tourism and Entertainment Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill while Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association President Nicola Madden-Greig and junior minister in the ministry of tourism and entertainment Damian Crawford look on at a recent meeting to tie up plans for the launch of Robinson's Jamaica Travel Channel.