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New JTB website a game-changer –Bartlett

Friday, November 16, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, has described as game-changing a new website developed by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) to market and promote Jamaica as a tourist destination.

The minister explained that the new and fully integrated website will be an inclusive platform to be used by large, medium-sized and especially small players in the industry to showcase their product offerings to potential tourists.

“The small stakeholders in the industry have complained bitterly that they are left out (because) they do not have the huge marketing platforms and the search engines of the big boys, and so their products are left unnoticed...This website offers that opportunity for the little guy... (such as) the tour operator and taxi man operating in the inner cities and townships,” he said.

“It will give them access in an equal way to the great big marketers that are in our space,” Bartlett added.

He was addressing the launch of the JTB's website at the ATL Audi Showroom in St Andrew on Wednesday.

He said the website represents a move by the Government to “create a new dynamism in tourism marketing” and to enable Jamaica as a destination to remain on the “cutting edge and top of mind”.

Director of Tourism, Donovan White, in his remarks, said technology has become a useful tool within the tourism industry often used by travel companies to improve operational efficiencies and to meet and exceed visitor expectations.

White explained that Jamaica's utilisation of digital platforms such as the website serves to inspire consumers “to get all the information about potential trips to a destination and eventually book the trip and share their experiences with the rest of the world”.

“This is what we are aiming for and, indeed, this is what the rest of the tourism world is aiming for... . Travellers are becoming increasingly digitally dependent when it comes to planning, booking, experiencing and sharing their travel life,” he pointed out.

He cited data that indicate that 40 per cent of travellers research and book their trips using their smartphones and utilise an average of 14 different apps while travelling.

White informed that the next step is the development of a destination application “where users will be able to automatically receive itineraries, flight updates, check-ins, notifications and boarding passes; rebook flights and communicate their customer service needs across the destination”.

Developed by limited liability company Simpleview, the website allows for Jamaica to be marketed to the world and serves up targeted messages to specific key markets, giving the JTB the ability to engage with multiple audiences in meaningful ways.

Account Manager at Simpleview, Carissa Leitner, said the website is “built on integration between the JTB's customer relations management software and the content management system”.

“With the website (and its systems) the JTB will have options for easy changes to site navigation, media, listings and overall content,” she said.

Simpleview designs and develops online and interactive web solutions for destination marketing organisations worldwide and primarily focuses on enhancing travel and tourism destinations.

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