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Falconer: Additional funds for tourism advertising not new money

BY ALICIA DUNKLEY-WILLIS Senior staff reporter dunkeya@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, February 14, 2014    

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INFORMATION Minister Sandrea Falconer says that the additional US $2.5 million funding approved by Cabinet for overseas advertising for the Jamaica Tourist Board is "not new money".

Speaking at Wednesday's Jamaica House press briefing in Kingston, Senator Falconer said the approval was given for the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to provide the funds. She told journalists that the money will be spent on an overseas advertising programme for the Winter Tourist Season, which began last December and ends on April 30.

"As the Jamaica Tourist Board moves to achieve higher levels of growth in arrivals over the next few years, the Jamaica Tourist Board has invested in refreshing major elements of its marketing campaign," Falconer said.

She said the initiatives include a new creative concept to replace the "Once you go you know" message that has been running over 10 years and has become "stale and lacking in impact".

"In addition, the technology employed was outdated," Falconer told the briefing.

Other efforts, she said, included the redesigning and upgrading of the JTB's marketing web portal, visitjamaica.com to improve the look and feel as well as synchronise these with the new creative ideas and increased focus on the use of social media to build consumer relationships.

The information minister further pointed out that tourism arrivals for January are up 4.7 per cent over last year, following on what the Government has said was a successful 2013 that saw Jamaica receiving two million visitors for the first time ever and earning over US$2 billion.

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